SGAC Costa Rica
|National Point of Contact
Welcome to the page of SGAC Costa Rica! In recent years, Costa Rica has seen an evolution of its science education system. Generally, there has been a growing awareness of its capability to design, create and develop different high-end technologies. Among these technologies, space is arguably the most recent one, thus it is in a quite early stage compared to other nations. Despite this, it is advancing in an outstanding pace.
SGAC Costa Rica invites you to take a look at what young space professionals and university students are working on to bring Costa Ricans closer to space!
Young Space Activities Overview in Costa Rica
|Ad Astra Rocket Company tours
View from ACAE’s first atmospheric
SGAC Costa Rica as a network is lucky to have a number of local organisations as partners. An emerging non-profit organisation: the Central American Association for Aeronautics and Space (ACAE, Asociación Centroamericana de Aeronaútica y el Espacio), based in Costa Rica, leads the process to develop the aerospace industry in the country and on the region through education. Indeed, since its foundation, ACAE has directed multiple projects and it keeps crafting more. ACAE has 2 main projects as for this moment. The first project consists on the creation of the “Central American Aerospace Cluster” with the objective of bringing into the region large investments from international corporations. The second project has been defined to serve for academic purposes: the development and launch of the first Costa Rican satellite - a PicoSat that will serve for environmental purposes and remote sensing. In addition, ACAE carried out projects to reach out to and inspire young students such as DAEDALUS. This project pursues bringing together young students from a variety of engineering and physics backgrounds to build a platform that would allow the study of atmospheric phenomena perform remote sensing tasks and the development of the technologies necessary to obtain these data. The first step towards the deployment of such platform was the development and testing of an atmospheric balloon as part of the Aether project, under the sponsorship of Ad Astra Co. This mission allowed participating students understand design and launching concepts and recovery techniques for space probes. A video showing the successful launch of this balloon can be accessed at the link at the bottom of the page.
The active participation of the NPoCs during this year 2012 was extremely fruitful and it is establishing strong foundations for the coming years. In collaboration with ACAE, Andres Mora initiated two exciting projects: a national rover competition and the launch of an experiment to the ISS (International Space Station).
The competition selects the rover (wheeled mobile robot) that is successful to navigate autonomously to a pre-selected target on the ground after been launched at an altitude of 12,000ft AGL (Above Ground Level). The competitors will be teams integrated by university-level students. The winner team will then participate at the ARLISS competition in Nevada, USA. The second project involves multiple organisations both in Costa Rica with InBio (National Biodiversity Institute) and internationally with the specialised company NanoRacks. Although these projects started in the second semester of 2012, the organization team is moving forward at a rapid pace and initial results should be delivered by the end of the first semester of 2013.
|ACAE and ACODEA space
observation night in the
top of Irazú Volcano
The NPoC Magaly Sandoval has also worked actively. She is currently a board member of ACAE and has participated in the representation of Costa Rica in international forums such as being elected as an Emerging Space Leader in 2012 and having attended IAF 2012, the UN-IAF Workshop 2012 and the Space Generation Congress 2012. She has also been collaborating through ACAE in outreach and education in the Costa Rican Institute of Technology.
In addition to these initiatives, there are several astronomical organisations; among the most active ones is the Costa Rican Astronomy Association (AsociacionCostarricense de Astronomia or ACODEA). It is an NGO dedicated to educate the general public about telescopes, their characteristics, how to find celestial bodies in the sky and also how to take pictures of such bodies. ACODEA also hosts different events such as “Telescopios en la Acera” (Telescopes on the Sidewalk) that attract young people and the general public. Another important institution is the Universidad de Costa Rica’s (UCR) Planetarium created in 2004 to educate children and adults on topics related to the cosmos. Another organisation born in the Costa Rican Institute of Technology (ITCR) is AstroTEC, created to motivate young students among the institution to get involved with space topics. This group holds weekly meetings in which everyone is invited to learn about the universe, and take a journey through astronomy. They also hold free of charge astronomical observation nights inside the university and around the country.
Country-Specific Events in 2013
Interesting Web Links for the Young Generation in Costa Rica
Asociacion Centroamericana de Aeronautica y del Espacio (ACAE)
Successful aerostatic balloon’s launch
Ad Astra Rocket Company
Space Research Center of the Universidad de Costa Rica
Universidad de Costa Rica’s Planetarium
ACODEA, Costa Rican Astronomy Association
|San Jose Planetarium||Mr. Adolfo Chaves, Mr. Carlos
Alvarado and Ms. Magaly Sandoval
in representation of ACAE and
Costa Rica in IAC 2012