Introduction of Participants - The 1st CLTP, 2011

Willy Ricardo Cabañas Villagrán (Guatemala)

Willy Ricardo Cabañas Villagrán (Guatemala)

  • Present Status: Central American Association for Aeronautics and Space, Guatemala (ACAE, Non-Profit organization)
  • Present Position: President
  • Field of Specialization: Research and Development in technology
  • Present Research Interests: All aspects regarding small satellites, including:
    • Definition of mission idea
    • Building and launching process
    • Regulatory affairs, international and local
    • Prepare human and technical resources to participate in global projects like Uniform and HumSat projects.
    • Science and Engineering matters, among others.
  • Comment: The first activities we are developing are to create awareness in Guatemalan society about the importance of participating in space development. In parallel, we are working with the National Secretary of Science and Technology and universities to develop a diploma degree related to the process of a space mission, with the support of a NGO from India. In parallel, we are working to prepare a CanSat Program in Guatemala as a very first step to come into space development.
Statement of Purpose

New and more economical applications of small satellites made me think that it was not too difficult for my country, Guatemala, to come into space activities. This inspiration came from recent participation in the 61st International Astronautical Congress (Prague, October 2010) and mainly from the presentation of Ms. Rei Kawashima in the VI Space Conference of the Americas (Hidalgo, Mexico, November 2010). Ms. Kawashima did a very inspirational presentation showing that CanSat is the very first step of space activities for developing countries.

Feedback on the CLTP Program

The objectives of the program were accomplished and succeeded my expectations by far. Even we could not make the final launch due to the situation caused by the earthquake I think that the training fulfilled the objectives. A very important aspect is the sincere friendship relations we did within our classmates, professors and the rest of the CLTP staff, showing us that despite of our cultural differences, friendship feelings and willingness to help are always the same regardless of the place we are in the world.

Vision for the Future

CanSat Program is a must for every developing country who wants to take part of space activities. I also think that nowadays developing space career for building human capacity in space is not an option and CanSat is the best way to start.

According to above statement, we in Guatemala are working according to the following strategy:

  1. Create awareness of the importance of entering into space activities as a country and as Central American Region.
  2. Establish links within private and state universities to create a common network for building human capacity in space.
  3. Taking advantage of political and economical support from the government for research, development and innovation in general.
  4. Establish a common strategy on space among Central American countries and take advantage of integration efforts that are taking place.
  5. Invite private sector to join efforts to support space activities.

The above described activities are necessary to create a good environment for the development of a CanSat Program. It is worth to mention that ACAE has made very good advances in activities a), c) and d). We are also starting to work in activities b, e and the CanSat program itself. We believe that the above described environment will ensure a successful and long lasting development in space for Central American Region.