Guayaquil, March 6, 2013.- The NEE-01 PEGASO and NEE-02 KRYSAOR Ecuadorian satellites have passed all qualification tests for spaceflight and integration on Chinese and Russian launch vehicles and are ready for launch informed today the Ecuadorian Civilian Space Agency – EXA
Last February, a joint team of EXA and the Ecuadorian Government traveled to the Netherlands carrying the satellites where the main laboratories for spaceflight qualification of ISL/ISIS reside, this is the company that manages the launch opportunities for nanosatellites for Chinese and Russian rockets, the Ecuadorian satellites were subject to all necessary tests for enduring space environment and qualification to board Chinese and Russian launch vehicles, the tests were passed by the satellites without problems.
ISL/ISIS pronounced the satellites passed and gave the Acceptance and Qualification Certification for the NEE-01 PEGASO y NEE-02 KRYSAOR, the first satellites completely designed and developed in Latin-America without any support or foreign help by EXA Ecuadorian engineers and whose launch has been financed by the Ecuadorian Government.
“This is a very important achievement in our history and the history of our region because now our space technology is qualified to board Chinese and Russian launch vehicles and to survive the harsh space environment, the satellites passed all tests with flying colors and a clean bill of health, now we only wait for the launch of the first one, the NEE-01 PEGASO on the first half of May and the second one for the second half of July” said Ronnie Nader, Space Operations Director and leader of the team that built the satellites, Nader is also the first Ecuadorian Cosmonaut.
The first satellite to reach orbit will the NEE-01 PEGASO, onboard a Chinese LM2D rocket, both satellites were designed and built completely on Ecuador using private funding by a team of EXA engineers that worked pro bono to built them, while later the Ecuadorian government joined the project by financing the launch operations and the tests logistics. On May 2011 this team of engineers were awarded the National Congress Medal to Scientific Merit, the highest honor bestowed in the country.
Together, the EXA and the Ecuadorian government will operate the satellites for scientific and educational purposes.
The launch of NEE-01 PEGASO had been planned for November 2012 on board a Russian Dnepr rocket, but such launch was postponed for July this year, which forced the Ecuadorians to apply for a Chinese launcher, however this forced the satellites to be re-qualified and re-tested to higher levels of endurance in order to be able to board any of those rockets, tests that now have been passed successfully by the Ecuadorian engineering, the first in Latin America of national origin without any foreign support or help.