Mexico to create its first space center on Yucatan Peninsula

Mexico to create its first space center on Yucatan Peninsula

Tulum Real Estate InformationMexico will create its own space center on the Yucatan Peninsula, deputy economy minister Francisco Pimentel said.

Mexican Space Center Tulum
"The headquarters of the Mexican Space Agency will be built in the Caribbean state of Quintana Roo, some 120 miles south of the world famous beach toen and Mayan ruins of Tulum, with an investment of $120 million" Gov. Felix Gonzalez Canto.The Space Center will be built in Chetumal, the state capital, on the border with Belize and Guatemala. At the site will be a launch pad, a runway, an underwater training unit and the space museum.The site was selected because of the similarities it has to the environment at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, according to a communique issued by the Quintana Roo government.

“In the next few days, [U.S.] astronaut Jose Hernandez and engineer Fernando de la Pena will travel there to carry out an inspection, in order to study concrete details of the future construction,” he said.

Pimentel said the space center will be built near the city of Chetumal, some 120 miles south of the beach town of Tulum, famous for its observation purposed buildings built by the ancient Maya, on the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. The space center, to be located some 15-20 kilometers (9-12 miles) away from residential locations, will built on about 30 hectares of land.

In 2008, the Mexican parliament approved the creation of a Mexican space agency (Agencia Espacial Mexicana – AEXA). The initiative was put forward in 2007 by NASA’s Hernandez, whose father emigrated to the U.S. from Mexico. The structure of Mexico’s space agency will be similar to that of NASA. The initial cost of the project is estimated at $80 million.

Hernandez has said the Mexican space agency was ready to cooperate with all countries in peaceful space exploration. According to the astronaut, Mexico is technically unable to carry out rocket launches by itself at the moment, but will probably be able to in ten years or so. For now, he said, the country should obtain the necessary technology.

Tulum Mexican Space Center
The state government held a meeting on the subject with Mexican astronaut Jose Hernandez Moreno, who last year participated in a NASA space mission on board the space shuttle Discovery.State officials feel that the construction of the space center will attract companies in the aerospace industry with resulting benefits for the local economy and real estate and the creation of jobs.The creation of the space agency was proposed by President Felipe Calderon and approved by lawmakers.

Russia and Mexico signed an agreement on cooperation in space research and exploration for peaceful purposes in 1996. In March 2009, a delegation of experts from Russian space agency Roscosmos visited the Latin American state to discuss the creation of the Mexican space agency with local lawmakers.

After the talks, Roscosmos deputy head Sergei Savelyev said Russia was ready to help Mexico develop its national space program on a commercial basis.


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