Mexico set to launch “Centenario”, the second of three satellites in the Mexsat program

Bicentenario, launched in 2013. (Photo: ORBITAL SCIENCES)

The second satellite in the 23-billion-peso (US $1.5 billion) Mexsat program will be launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on April 29.

Built by Boeing, the 702HP model satellite, called Centenario, will strengthen security efforts and improve communications, particularly in rural and remote areas, according to the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation.

Bicentenario was the first satellite in the program; it was launched just over two years ago to provide communications services, including the delivery of Internet connectivity through the México Conectado program.

Morelos 3 will be the last in the fleet and it’s scheduled for launching later this year.

Bicentenario, launched in 2013. (Photo: ORBITAL SCIENCES)
Bicentenario, launched in 2013. (Photo: ORBITAL SCIENCES)

Communications Secretary Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said Centenario will begin operations 10 months after its launch, the time required to position the craft in orbit, deploy the antenna and conduct tests.

According to one report, the satellite will have the capacity to provide broadband connectivity to about 150,000 devices, or connect 2 million voice users with voice-over-IP, or VoIP.

Ruiz Esparza said Mexico can count on leading-edge communications technology with Centenario, whose life span is estimated at 15 years.

The satellites are controlled with ground stations in Iztapalapa in the Federal District and Hermosillo, Sonora.

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