Comisión Nacional de Actividades
The Comisión Nacional de Actividades
Espaciales (CONAE; in English, National
Space Activities Commission) is the civil-
ian agency of the government of Argentina in
charge of the national space program.
CONAE is the forerunner of the CNIE
(Spanish: Comisión Nacional de Investiga-
ciones Espaciales) founded in the 1960s. The
new commission was created on May 28,
1991 during the government of Carlos
Menem, after the cancellation of the military
Condor missile program in an attempt to
move all the commission efforts to civilian
purposes. It received the Air Force aerospace
facilities in Córdoba and Buenos Aires of the
former CNIE, as well as some of the civil per-
sonnel involved in the cancelled project.
Since the 1990s the new commission signed
agreements with NASA and European agen-
cies and has developed a number of Earth
Observation satellites, including SAC-A, the
failed mission SAC-B,
launched in 2000 and still operating.
CONAE’s Córdoba Ground Station (ETC) has
been in operation since 1997. It has capacity
for data reception and TT&C. Currently, it re-
ceives data from 12 international satellites,
besides the data from Argentine missions.
The National Space Program foresees the
setting up of a second ground station in
Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego Province, at the
southern tip of Argentina, to enable the col-
lection of data on the Antarctic continent.
The national space program provides for two
satellite series and both are devoted to Earth
Observation: one with main Argentine instru-
ments in the optical range (SAC) and the oth-
er one in the microwave range (SAOCOM).
The SAC series has been developed by the
CONAE together with the Argentine company
INVAP and a number of local universities, in
close cooperation with the NASA. It has also
included the participation of Brazil, Den-
mark, Italy and Germany.
Currently three Argentine satellites have
been launched: SAC-B, which was devoted to