Caracas, October 18th 2012 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – The Venezuelan government has released the first images taken by its new “Miranda” satellite, launched 3 weeks ago in collaboration with the Chinese government. The first images were presented during a televised press conference this Wednesday by a number of Venezuelan ministers.
According to the Venezuelan government, the satellite will transmit up to 350 images a day and will be used principally to help the government plan “strategic areas of interest,” including agriculture, industry, the country’s national housing mission and the environment.
The images will also alert the government to climatic changes and help it to prepare for sudden rains, such as those that left thousands of Venezuelans homeless in 2010, as well as to improve planning for national harvests. They will also be used to aid military operations, specifically those on the frontier with Colombia.
According to Minister of Science and Technology, Jorge Arreaza, the satellite’s images will be extremely important for public planning and will be made available to communal councils who wish to undertake public works in their local areas.
“These images are not just for academics and ministries, they are also for the people,” he said.
The satellite was launched on 28 September from China, which is jointly managing the project with Venezuela. Over 50 Venezuelan professionals are currently out in China being trained to take over control of the satellite, which will be transferred over to Venezuela in January next year.
“(Then) the relationship will be more of a cooperation and exchange of images with China,” confirmed Mariano Imbert, Executive Director of the Bolivarian Agency for Space Activities.
Imbert also commented that the government was discussing the possibility of sharing the images from the satellite with countries of the ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America) in an attempt to deepen regional integration, as well as discussing further collaboration with the Chinese government in order to have access to the data recorded from two Chinese satellites.
“We are taking a further step towards independence,” Imbert explained.
Miranda is the second satellite to be launched in conjunction with the Chinese government since Hugo Chavez was elected in 1998, with a first, named Simon Bolivar, being sent into orbit in 2008.