January 23, 2021

Duque denies the complete failure of Ingenio and expects to receive data in three weeks

The Minister of Science Pedro Duque.

The Minister of Science Pedro Duque.

The minister of Science and Innovation, Pedro Duque, has insisted this Tuesday that, in general, none of the satellites produced by R&D projects make sure, so the Spanish Ingenio followed the usual policies, and has denied that this mission was a “complete failure”.

This was stated by the minister in the control session to the government in the Senate, in which both the senator of the Basque group Maria Rosa Peral Like the popular group María Salom, they have asked about this satellite, which on November 17 did not reach its destination due to a problem in the Vega rocket.

Duque, who has indicated that in about three weeks the final report with the investigation of what happened on takeoff could be known, recalled that most space agencies, such as the POTThey do not contract insurance for this type of satellites based on research and development projects, and they do for commercial ones, that is, those that are already on the market.

Among the objectives of Ingenio was the generation of knowledge, the training of companies to be eligible for other higher-value contracts and the obtaining of Earth observation data.

The first two have been fully achieved, noted Duque, who as an example stated that the Spanish industry has landed contracts worth much more than double of program spending -the cost of Wit was about 200 million euros including launch-.

However, he admitted, the data that Ingenio was going to offer on Earth has been lost and his department is working on this with the European Space Agency (ESA), so that it provides “preferential access to data from its satellites” .

This It will be at no cost to Spain for being a participant in ESA, has asserted the minister, who added that various options related to possible future national developments are being studied, although it is still premature to speak of specific Spanish satellite programs.

Peral, from the PNV, has mentioned the suitability of insurance, “it must be an issue for value in the future”, and recalled that a Vega rocket was also the one that failed in July 2019 when it tried to put a satellite into orbit for the United Arab Emirates.

In addition, the nationalist senator has added that there is always time to acquire the necessary budget commitments to guarantee sufficient funding for “start, as soon as possible, a new program to replace the Ingenio satellite lost by another project and thereby boost the sector. ”

For her part, the PP senator has disfigured Duque what she has considered a lack of explanations: “It was a strategic project for the Government and all she has done is a tweet in English.

Salom has accused the minister of hiding when there are problems and has summoned him to give explanations as to why they have “lost 200 million euros” and why the Spanish satellite did not have insurance and, for example, the French did – along with Ingenio was flying Taranis-, being able to recover an important part of the investment, he said.

Duke has denied that the French satellite was insured, something usual “with all the satellites product of the R&D that are not insured; most of the agencies do”. “The aphorism of NASA is famous: we ensure the success of the mission instead of taking out insurance”, has settled.


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