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The Generalitat promotes a ‘Catalan NASA’ to put data satellites into orbit

 Despite the fact that the management of the coronavirus pandemic should invite you to keep your feet on the ground, the Generalitat has the stars on its horizon. That is why it presented a Catalan space agency with the aim of promoting the strategic telecommunications sector by investing 2.5 million this year and next to generate 1,200 jobs. Thus the Government baptized this strategy as “the new economy of space” or New Space since it intends to manufacture and put in orbit smaller and cheaper satellites, which orbit at low altitudes, taking advantage of the democratization of space. Until now reserved for the great powers of the aerospace industry.

For this reason, the Government wants to promote technological development in addition to reducing costs and a paradigm shift in the way of developing space missions to reach the stars, and not just metaphorically. The sector may provide satellite-based services, their data and the use of space by their companies. With this objective, the Government wants to inject 18 million euros in four years.

Among the first objectives is the launch of two nano-satellites, which will be followed by half a dozen more to form “a constellation”, according to the Minister of Digital Policies and Public Administration Jordi Puigneró, who added that he wants ” to turn Catalonia into a digital country, not only as a consumer but also as a producer of digital technologies “. That is why the Government began the tender for the manufacture of these two satellites, with a cost between half a million and two million euros, 10 kilos of weight and orbiting at 2,000 kilometers high for four years, which will serve n to “generate data that we will make available to the industry.”

These systems will allow meteorological observation services to control crops or herds located in places of difficult access such as the Pyrenees, in addition to the analysis of atmospheric pollution or the capacity of reservoirs. Another line of work is the impetus they will bring to improve connectivity, hand in hand with 5G and the Internet of Things. Puigneró remarked that the sector can bill 300 million euros in three or four years and will allow it to follow in the wake of an economic model on the rise throughout the world.

In this sense, the Government stressed the importance of growth in recent years of Catalan technology companies, more than 10% in new jobs, so it considers that specific projects can be facilitated from the administration. The minister hopes to count on the help of the Government to develop this Catalan space industry, taking into account that “the area where nanosatellites orbit are not exclusive to the State, they are like international waters”.

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