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Montevideo, May 23rd 2024 - 08:33 UTC



Argentine company wants to launch satellites from Uruguay

Saturday, December 16th 2023 - 10:49 UTC
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Aventura is a nano launch vehicle under development by Tlon Space Aventura is a nano launch vehicle under development by Tlon Space

The Argentine company Tlon Space S.A. has been reported to be involved in Uruguay's plans to build an aerospace launch platform on the coast of Rocha to send small satellites into space to collect images.

To boost these plans, the Uruguayan Congress is reviewing a bill to create a space agency to “direct, coordinate and implement the space policy” resulting from the work of the National Space Policy Board.

Uruguay XXI Investment Manager Alejandro Ferrari pointed out Uruguay's east coast has about 100 kilometers with an advantage to launch rockets. “Given the inclination, it is possible to launch to polar or equatorial orbits; for one it is very convenient and for the other, it is the border. Besides, it can be launched without interfering with the airspace of neighboring countries. That is an advantage” in addition, the area's low costs and Uruguay's economic stability.

Uruguay created in early 2022 a National Space Policy Board to advise the Executive in these matters. The agency has been briefed by international consultant Paulo Vasconcellos, a former Director of Space Transportation and Licensing, and of Strategic Intelligence and New Business of the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), who reported on the feasibility of installing a rocket launching port in Rocha.

“This is our first project in Uruguay and the objective is to build a set of facilities prepared for the launch, arrival, or technical assistance of our launch vehicles or space rockets”, explained Tlon's COO Luis Monsegur.

Tlon Space's interest in this project is “to provide the service of putting third-party satellites into orbit”. “We intend to carry out launches from the spaceport that will grow progressively year by year, thus accompanying an exponentially growing demand such as the assembly and maintenance of small satellite constellations”, said Monsegur.

According to international consulting firms Euroconsult, Frost & Sullivan, and McKinsey, between 18,000 and 27,000 smallsats or small satellites will be launched into low orbit by 2030. Seraphim Capital, for its part, estimates that by then there will be 100,000 smallsats in orbit.

”Last year we submitted an application to the National Directorate of Environmental Quality and Assessment (Dinacea), which is currently being processed by our specialized consultants,“ Monsegur explained. ”The objective is to start commercial launches during 2025,“ added Monsegur. Initially, the idea is to make one launch per month and, then, ”to reach within 5 years the amount of two launches per week,“ he went on.

Monsegur highlighted Uruguay's capacity to protect Tlon Space's own technology ”thanks to its solid State policies that are reflected in its stable legal regulations” coupled with customs and tax regulations simplify the import of inputs and equipment.

In 2008, Uruguay launched together with Venezuela, a communications satellite at a cost of about US$ 400 million which ceased to operate in 2020.

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