From Technological Capabilities Accumulation to Geostationary Planification in Argentina
De la acumulación de capacidades tecnológicas a la planificación geoestacionaria en la Argentina;
Da acumulação de capacidades tecnológicas ao planejamento geoestacionário na Argentina
AbstractDuring the last 25 years, Argentina has reached a relevant series of technological milestones by designing and building its own satellites, including four in cooperation with the nasa, two that carry the largest radar antenna placed on a satellite for civil purposes, and two geostationary telecommunications satellites. In 2015, the Congress of the Argentine Nation enacted a law that approved and declared the “Argentine Geostationary Satellite Plan 2015-2035” as a matter of national interest. The Law includes a plan for the construction of geostationary telecommunications satellites. The objective of this paper is to analyze to what extent the Law approved by the Congress enables the preservation of accumulated technological capabilities in the space sector or has the capacity to do so in the future. The methodology used to achieve this objective consisted of a review of the existing literature on the Argentine satellite industry, semi-structured interviews with referents of the ecosystem in different cities of Argentina, and the study of the law and current regulations. Based on the analysis of the technical and economic aspects of the law, and the existing deviations as of July 2020 with respect to the satellite construction chronology programmed in its annex, this paper finds that non-compliance is a factor that endangers highly valuable resources such as geostationary orbital positions or the technological capabilities accumulated on the basis of the nuclear developments initiated in the late 1940s. In addition, it was found that the law lacks criteria that incorporate the fluctuating technological and economic dynamics of the sector. To conclude, the paper discusses the implications of this law for the sector and proposes a series of elements to consider in the prearranged updating of the satellite construction plan.