ALCE Moving ForwardBy Sofía Hanna | Wed, 11/18/2020 - 12:11
Yesterday, Minister of Foreign Relations Marcelo Ebrard announced that the Latin America and Caribbean Space Agency (ALCE) is moving forward, with new participants joining its ranks. On Oct. 9, the Argentinian Cancellar Felipe Carlos Solá, together with Ebrard, signed a collaboration intent to develop ALCE, which would be the first step towards sharing knowledge and strength in space technology, according to a previous MBN report.
"If Latin America and the Caribbean do not participate in what is known as the space race, it is likely that we are going to have more and more disadvantages in scientific and technological matters. Which is also seen as an inability to solve the problems we have in terms of social welfare and other issues," said Ebrard during a virtual meeting, as reported by El Economista.
During this meeting, it was also stated that although the project started with Mexico and Argentina, Bolivia, El Salvador, Ecuador and Paraguay have now agreed to participate. Peru and Colombia joined in, but as observers, according to Forbes. A previous MBN article reports that both Mexico and Argentina had been highly active in developing alliances with national and international institutions, which is of high importance to develop ALCE. "No country in Latin America has enough resources to be part of the space race on its own," said Ebrard.
ALCE is a big step toward building an adequate aerospace infrastructure. The first actions planned are to build satellites, develop earth stations and terminal equipment and share the built infrastructure among member parties, reported by El Financiero. Solá and Ebrard also highlighted this will promote collaboration in the region, as well as economic development, reported MBN. ALCE hopes to encourage new projects and talent in Latin America and the Caribbean, while strengthening transport infrastructure and promoting environmental protection, according to Forbes.
MBN also reported on Mexico’s participation in the first LATAM space mission as part of the LATCOSMOS-C program that seeks to encourage Latin American talent to be part of manned missions. ALCE, however, will create more opportunities, technology and collaboration among Latin American countries once it starts operating in 2021, according to Ebrard.