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Mexico To Join Space Race

12 September, 2012

Mexico is planning to join the space race by opening a satellite launching station in the Yucatan,near to the city of Chetumal.

Mexican congress approved legislation paving the way for the project,this week,and it is already being dubbed the "Mexican Cape Canaveral".

Francisco Armand Pimentel,Sub-Secretary for Economic Development,said that Mexican American astronaut,José Hernández,and top Mexican engineer,Fernando de la Peña,will head up the new space base.

The project was originally proposed in 2007 by Hernández himself,who is a NASA cosmonaut of Mexican descent. It will be managed by Mexico's space agency, AEXA,which was conceived in 2008 and will have a similar structure to its American counterpart.

The Yucatan launch site will be built on around 74 acres (30 hectares) in an unpopulated part of the state of Quintana Roo. Its initial cost is estimated at $80 million.

Once built,missions from the new space port will be used to research materials,fuel,suits and other equipment,as well to help with GPS location systems.