LA PAZ, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Bolivia on Thursday certified 64 Chinese-trained engineers to operate the country's telecom satellite "Tupac Katari" that will be launched into orbit on Dec. 20.
"The certificates presented today ... are for specialists in the ground control system of the satellite," said Ivan Zambrana, director of the Bolivian Space Agency (ABE) at a certification ceremony here.
Among the trainees, 30 are trained for ground control, operation and maintenance, while the other 34 are trained for aerospace and satellite design and manufacturing. Another ten are still receving training.
On Dec. 14, 2010, the Bolivian government and Chinese firm Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) signed a contract for building "Tupac Katari". Almost three years later, the plan is in its final stage.
The "Tupac Katari" project includes the development of a telecommunications satellite, the launching and building of ground stations in La Paz and Santa Cruz, as well as the training of Bolivian professionals in aerospace technology.