Buenos Aires: Argentina on Thursday launched its first domestically built communications satellite- ARSAT-1, from Kourou in French Guyana.
The ARSAT-1 satellite is the first to be constructed with local technology in Latin America.
Thusrday's launch is being seen as a historic day for the nation led by Cristina Fernández.
“ARSAT-1 is on its way to space.” tweeted President Cristina Fernández shortly after the launch via her Twitter account.
The satellite was built by a crew of about 500 scientists over seven years at a cost of USD 250 million and is to orbit 36,000 kilometers above Earth.
ARSAT-1 is designed to provide digital television and cellphone services to Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay for the next fifteen years. It is also expected to improve telephone and Internet connections in remote places, including for scientists are working in the Antarctic region.
The launch was witnessed by several national authorities.
(With Agency inputs)