Mexico is growing its focus on the space industry, as AEM, a decentralized agency of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation (SICT), announced that it signed a new agreement with NASA to develop the “AztechSat.”
"Through this new agreement with NASA, we double our efforts to strengthen Mexico's international cooperation and the promotion of youth training in advanced space technologies for social applications," said AEM Director General Salvador Landeros via an AEM press release.
“Both space agencies will collaborate in developing satellite technology for lunar exploration, which will also be used for tasks on Earth, caring for marine fauna and the environment. This comes after the successful results of the technological demonstration mission involving "AztechSat-1," the first Mexican nanosatellite in the International Space Station. The satellite managed to communicate with the Globalstar satellite constellation, about 1,000km above its orbit,” explained AEM.
The mission’s success has attracted attention to nanosatellites to stop depending exclusively on Earth’s stations to transmit information. This new solution allows stations to remain operational long, which is what finally convinced NASA to sign the agreement.
"Through the new generation of AztechSat, we highlight our trust in Mexican ingenuity to develop satellite technologies and to strengthen the new Mexican space age," said Andrés Martínez, Space Programs Executive, NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems Division.
NASA has already signed an agreement with UNAM earlier this year, searching to develop a carbon cycle and a climate change observatory. The “Mexican Observatory for Climate and Atmospheric Conditions” will begin operations in 2022 as an Earth data station connected to NASA’s Geostationary Carbon Cycle Observatory (GeoCarb) satellite, as reported by MB.