Bolivian President Evo Morales has signed a decree establishing a national space agency to oversee a satellite project scheduled to be completed by 2013, the Latin American Herald Tribune said.
The document, signed by the Bolivian president on Wednesday, stipulates that the Bolivian Space Agency "will promote technology transfer, human-resource development and the application of satellite-communications programs to education, defense, medicine and meteorology."
The new government body will also manage the implementation of the Tupac Katari satellite project, named after the leader of an Indian rebellion against the Spanish colony in the 18th century.
The agency will have an initial budget of $1 million and will be financed through government funding, donations and foreign loans, the Latin American Herald Tribune said, citing the country's Public Works Minister Walter Delgadillo Terceros.
According to the Latin American Herald Tribune, technical experts from China and Bolivia met in January to assess Bolivia's telecommunications capabilities and to start preliminary work on the design of the Tupac Katari, which will be built on the basis of the Chinese DFH-4 satellite.
The first Bolivian satellite is expected to be put into orbit in 2013.
MOSCOW, February 11 (RIA Novosti)