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Ecuador launches first homemade satellite

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Ecuador launched its first satellite into space from China Friday morning, in a moment broadcast live on radio and television back home.

The "Pegaso" (Pegasus) nanosatellite, designed and built in Ecuador, set off aboard an unmanned rocket at 0413 GMT from the Jiuquand station in northern China.

Measuring just 10 by 10 by 75 centimeters (four by four by 30 inches), and weighing 1.2 kilograms (2.6 pounds), Pegaso will beam live video images back to Earth from an onboard camera.

"Welcome to the heavens, Pegaso. Welcome to space Ecuador. The mission is a success," said Ronnie Nader, Ecuador's first and only astronaut, who runs Ecuador's civilian space agency.

The Ecuadoran Space Agency plans a second satellite launch in July.

str-sp/nss/yad

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130426/ecuador-launches-first-homemade-satellite