European Space Agency set to launch Spanish built satellite in 2019

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BLAST OFF: The INGENIO satellite is set for launch next year CREDIT: SENER

A SATELLITE build in Spain is set to be launched into space next year for an observation mission, the country’s Science Minister has announced.

INGENIO is set to go into orbit around the Earth sometime in late 2019. It will join another Spanish satellite, PAZ, which was launched last February.

The launch of INGENIO will make Spain the first European country to have a dual-system and dual-use observation system in orbit.

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Science Minister Pedro Duque, who is also a former astronaut, was at the headquarters of the European Space Agency (ESA) in Madrid when the mission was unveiled.

“I am very happy to make this announcement,” Duque said.

Duque also took part in the signing of a deal between the French, German, Italian, Swiss and Spanish governments which backs the launches of a further two satellites.

INGENIO comes equipped with an optical camera that has a resolution of 2.5 metres per pixel, meaning it will be able to identify any vehicle on Earth once in orbit. The satellite, built by the SENER aerospace firm, is set to be launched aboard the ESA’s Vega C rocket.

INGENIO’s coupling with PAZ will give Spain both a radar and optical observation system. It will also have civilian and military uses.

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