Disaster intimation

Published: Sunday 15 September 2002

Forewarned is forearmed. With this motto, Argentina has embarked on a mission to launch two Earth observation satellites so that it is alerted against environmental threats.

Named Saocom 1 and 2, the satellites are supposed to improve the management of emergencies such as forest fires, droughts and floods. While monitoring the state of glaciers and coastal areas, they would at the same time provide scientists with vital information that can help raise agricultural productivity."The information received through satellites will help governments at the regional as well as provincial levels," reveals Alberto Giraldez, senior project researcher. The satellites -- to be launched from 2004 onwards -- are being financed by Argentina's space agency, National Commission of Space Activities (ncsa), which is using a us $32 million government allocation.

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