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Mexico Considering Space Agency To Develop Astronomy

Mexican President Felipe Calderon.
by Staff Writers
Mexico City, Mexico (XNA) Nov 20, 2009
Mexican President Felipe Calderon said on Wednesday that the nation is considering creating a space agency to boost the development of astronomy and space science.

"Right now, the Congress is considering the creation of an aerospace agency, which already has a budget of 122 million pesos (9.38 million U.S. dollars) committed," Calderon said at a ceremony honoring Jose Hernandez Moreno, a Mexican citizen and a doctor in engineering who traveled to the international space station in August as part of a team sent by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Calderon said the money is currently being spent on space-related projects via existing ministries and state-run bodies. In Latin America, Brazil and Costa Rica have well-known space programs. Costa Rica's program is led by a Costa Rican citizen who has traveled into space with NASA.

"During the last two years we have pushed forward scientific investment and aerospace trade in a very determined way," Calderon said, adding that this has helped attract a multi-million-dollar investment by Canadian aerospace firm Bombadier in two Mexican states.

During his speech, Hernandez called on Mexicans to question, be curious and seek out education, citing Brazil's success in aerospace as a possible model.

"If we can develop curiosity, interest in observation, reasoning, the elaboration of important questions and the generation of hypotheses, our children can develop their logical and mathematical abilities," he said.

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