Arsat-1 set to launch
Juan Fernandez Gonzalez
| 19 September 2014
Argentina has finally confirmed a date for launching its first national satellite, Arsat-1, which is already waiting at the space station in Kourou, French Guyana.

arsatOn 16 October, the Argentinean geostationary satellite will be heading to space, three months later than initially scheduled. The date has been announced by Matías Bianchi, Arsat's president, who reiterated that the launch depends upon weather conditions.

The satellite will take off on board an Arianne-5 rocket and the event will be broadcast on TV and streamed through the Internet. "The rocket is launching two different satellites at the same time, it will fly for around an hour and then release the satellites at around 250km from Earth's surface," explained Bianchi.

Arsat-1 – the first of a family which has two more satellites on their way, and the first satellite to be completely built in Argentina – aims to improve direct-to-home (DTH), DTT and satellite Internet services in the country.

The satellite was finished in May and was initially scheduled to be launched by Arianespace during the first week of July.

While Arsat-1 waits to be launched, Arsat-2 is almost complete. The second-generation satellite will be entering the final test phase in a few weeks, with the launch date estimated for June 2015.