The Minister of Communications and Transportation, Dionisio Perez Jacome, inaugurated the Fourth Forum of Mexico’s Space Agency, which took place in Puerto Vallarta Mexico January 28-29, 2011. This Fourth Forum since the creation of Mexico’s Space Agency definined Human Resources requirements for the Space Agency.
Space Forum Attended by Jalisco’s Governor and the Minister of Economic Development
Jalisco’s Governor, Emilio Gonzalez Marquez, was present at the inauguration. Gonzalez Marquez commented to El Informador that Jalisco is well prepared to house Mexico’s Space Agency’s research and development facilities supported by Jalisco’s Universities and existing infrastructure in the areas of communications, remote observations and information management.
Jalisco’s Minister of Economic Development, Alonso Ulloa Vélez, stated that the best way to fight poverty is with growth in high-income sectors such as aerospace. Ulloa Vellez cited that Mexico will need to replace several obsolete communication satellites in the next few years. With the creation of Mexico’s Space Agency, Mexico will be able to have some of the work done in Mexico instead of abroad, keeping the wealth in our own country.
Several States Lobbying for Space Agency Sites
Mexico’s Space Agency will have several sites distributed throughout the country. These sites include administrative offices, telemetry, communications and control, research and development and launch sites.
These Space Agency sites could be located anywhere in the country but are best suited for locations surrounded by first-class universities, existing research facilities and private aerospace industry.
The states of Baja California, Hidalgo, Zacatecas, Jalisco, Chihuahua, Yucatan and Quintana Roo are considered leading contenders for Mexico’s Space Agency sites.
The launch sites, if any, would be located in the Yucatan peninsula, since a location closer to the equator takes advantage of the earth’s rotational speed to reduce fuel requirements during take-off. Also, rockets take off in an eastern direction and placing the launch site next to the Caribbean Ocean reduces risk to population in case of an accident.
Forum Attended by Ex-Astronauts
At the event were also two ex-astronauts with Mexican roots, Jose Hernández Moreno and Rodolfo Neri Vela. Jose Hernandez just announced that he is leaving NASA for a position in private industry. Rodolfo Neri is rumored to be a member of the short-list of possible space agency directors.
What Happens After Puerto Vallarta’s Fourth Space Agency Forum
The previous three forums debated industrial development, international relations, legal guidelines and research and development requirements. The fourth forum focused on human resources.
One last, and fifth forum, will take place in Mexico City to elaborate the final draft of recommendations to congress to include a list of possible Directors for Mexico’s Space Agency and proposed Space Agency Policy guidelines and budget requirements.
The soon-to-be-appointed Director of the Space agency will be in charge of initiating operations in September 2011, staffing the agency and carrying out Mexico’s Space Policy.
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