Mexico’s lower-chamber of Congress, la Camara de Diputados, yesterday approved legislation to create a space agency that will be charged with crafting a space program for the country. The formation of the new agency, Agencias Espaciales de Mexico (AEXA), was approved with overwhelming support from lawmakers including 280 votes in favor and only two votes against. According to reports, the agency will work to increase education and research and produce specialists in the fields of space technology and exploration and will work in coordination with the secretary of communications and transportation.
First proposed in 2005, the agency will also be responsible for formulating general guidelines for the Política Espacial de México—the country’s official policy on space related matters—and the Programa Nacional de Actividades Espaciales. According to its charter, AEXA will develop a space program that increases the country’s educational, industrial, scientific, and technological capacity in the field of space travel.
According to Fernando de la Peña, an engineer and key proponent of the agency, AEXA will be based in two locations—one in the state of Hidalgo where agency operations will be housed, and the second on the Yucatán Peninsula to be used for space shuttle launches.