Bolivia Tuesday announced the winners of a Chinese scholarship program which trains Bolivian experts for operating the Tupac Katari satellite, slated for launching at the end of 2013.
The 64 experts, including six women, were screened carefully to ensure eligibility for the scholarship, Bolivian Space Agency (BSA) Director Ivan Zambrana said.
"The winners have been chosen through a transparent and fair process. They are world-class Bolivian professionals," said Zambrana.
The one-year training program, which kicks off at the end of October, includes control of satellite operations from ground stations, project design and satellite systems, and teleport for data networks.
The Tupac Katari satellite, named after an 18th century indigenous hero who fought Bolivia's Spanish colonizers, will help facilitate the country's integration into the world, said Bolivian President Evo Morales during the presentation ceremony.
The BSA signed a deal with the China Great Wall Industrial Cooperation, a subsidiary of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, in December 2010, to launch Bolivia's first communications satellite into the orbit by the end of 2013 or the beginning of 2014.