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Chile was involved in supporting space activities, since its early days. A NASA station located in Peldehue (near Santiago) marked the beginning of its involvement. However it took until the 90’s for Chile to launch its first experimental satellites FASat-alfa and FASat-bravo.
Currently the Earth Observation Satellite SSOT (launched in the end of 2011) is fully operational and providing images with the highest resolution in South America.
During 2012 a lot of news coverage was given to the milestones of the SSOT and also to the activities of the Chilean Google Lunar X-Prize (GLxP) Team Angelicvm. This year will be marked by the GLxP summit in April 2013.
Young Space Activities Overview in Chile
In Chile most aerospace activities are focus on the aeronautical world. A few parties remembering Yuri’s first space flight have been organized throughout the years. A team of students from the University of Concepcion is leading the development of small rocket engines for meteorological measurement and also other engines in the frame of the GLxP (like their lunar breaking engine)
The GLxP team is led by an investor firm Angelicvm and works closely with team of young engineering students at several universities in the country. They have had major exposure on the regional, national media and some international attention. Have attended a few GLxP meetings in the US, being recognize as the “Most surprising presentation” at the GLxP 2012 summit. In October they signed a contract with Earthrise Space Inc. for a piggy back transportation of the Dandelium Rover to the lunar surface.
Country Specific Events in 2013
- GLxP Teams Summit will take place the first week of April 2013 and is hosted by the Chilean Team Angelicvm. More details http://www.teamangelicvm.cl/ and http://www.googlelunarxprize.org/
- Scholarship for MSc (to be open later during the yeaar) and PhD (open) abroad. Application form, applications dates and other details at http://www.becaschile.cl/.
- More events will be announced later in the year.
- Citizen consultation NATIONAL SPACE POLICY 2013-2020 (Consulta Ciudadana Política Nacional Espacial 2013-2020). From September 9th until October 23rd, through the link, any citizen, company or organization could know the text of the policy and make technical observations and comments/opinions. After October 24th the opinions will be publicly available.
Interesting Web Links for the Young Generation in Chile
- Angelicum GLxP, is one of the only two Latin American teams currently involved in the Google Lunar x-Prize, that plans to put a rover on the Moon before 2015, it comprises a cooperation between Academia and Industry.
- Aerospace Engineering at University of Concepción. It is the only university in the country that gives the major in Aerospace.
- Suchai is project currently run by the University of Chile in order assemble and launch a CubeSat. For more information check the Electric Engineering Department website .
- Actualidad Espacial, a free-lance website that provides with information on the ongoing Aerospace and Astronomical activities .
- Aerospace Museum, the museum located in the capital (Santiago) hosts a permanent exhibition on Aerospace.
- Servicio Aerofotogrametrico (SAF), is the body of the air force that deals with the distribution and purchase of images both form planes and the Chilean Satellite.
- Engineers Professional Association, organizes several engineering related activities during the year. Has a committees that organize talks related to space a few times a year.
- Atacama Solar Challenge, a solar power car race in the Atacama Desert. This car are built using a lot of aerospace technologies and material by teams of university students from all the country and from other Latin American Countries.
Artist impression of the Lunar braking engine being develop by the Propulsion Interest Group part of the GLxP Team Angelicum
One of the first images from the FASat-Charlie, taken on December 2011 over the world’s biggest Copper open mine Chuquicamata in the North of Chile