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Bolivia unveils ground control station for Chinese-made satellite

Bolivian President Evo Morales inaugurated on Monday the first ground control station built to operate and receive data from Chinese-built Tupac Katari satellite.

"I am very pleased with the progress" made in this area, Morales said at the opening of the facility in El Alto, Amachuma, some 35 km west of the capital.

"On Dec. 20, we will launch our Tupac Katari communication satellite from China," Morales said, confirming that he would travel to China for the launching of the satellite, which will begin operating in March.

He said the satellite would expand telecommunication coverage in his country and increase access to broadcast centers for educational and healthcare purposes.

The Bolivian government is considering launching a second satellite to monitor the country's natural resources.

"I am still dreaming about the next satellite focused on prospecting, to find out exactly what we have in Bolivia in terms of natural resources," the president said.

On Dec. 13, 2010, the Bolivian government and China's Great Wall Industry Corporation signed the contract for the building of a communication satellite in La Paz.

[Source: Xinhua, La Paz, 02Dec13]

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