Venezuela to set up space center

by Chris Bergin

A decree issued by the Venezuelan government has established the Foundation for the Venezuelan Space Center – which could eventually prove to be a rival spaceport option for the European Space Agency (ESA) facility at Kourou, French Guyane.

The new agency will be tasked with laying the foundations for the Space Center – with the favored location targeted south of the Amacuro Delta.

According to the published decree in the Official Gazette this week, Venezuela intend to become ‘a centerpiece in the hemisphere in terms of exploration and use of space.’

The Agency will be known as the CEV and will set up their headquarters in Caracas under the initial guidance of the Ministry of Science and Technology. The Ministry will play a role on the CEV board of directors and will be able to name and remove the agency president.

The decree also noted that the CEV will ‘design, coordinate and implement policies related to peaceful use of ultra-terrestrial space and specialized in aerospace matters.’

The CEV will be backed financially by the State through grants – which will be additional to any income from outside contracts and agreements with other agencies.

The location of the space center will be of interest to the ESA facility, which is based just a few hundred miles due south. The ESA space port currently launches Ariane 5 launch vehicles – and will soon facilitate a number of Russian launches, for utilization of its proximity to the Equator.

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