Guayaquil, November 20, 2009.- Continuing with the Ecuadorian civilian space program, the Ecuadorian Civilian Space Agency - EXA announced today the kick off of the program "A SATELLITE IN THE CLASSROOM" for giving real time access to weather satellites orbiting the earth to schools in Ecuador.

Two schools were chosen to kick start the program as pilot institutions: the Academia Cotopaxi in Quito and the EcoMundo school in Guayaquil, where the HERMES Delta system has been installed and remains connected with the EXA's HERMES-A/MINOTAUR Orbital Control Center enabling them for real time access to four NOAA satellites: NOAA-15, NOAA-17, NOAA-18 and NOAA-19, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, this satellites orbit the earth every 90 minutes, at 800kms high, observing the whole planet and reporting meteorological conditions to the most relevant scientific institutes and the main international TV networks, they are the most important and most used spacecrafts for weather monitoring.

This pioneering program, that  wants to bring cutting edge space technology to the classroom is possible due the development, early this September, of the HERMES-A/MINOTAUR Space flight control center by the EXA, which is the first Internet-to-Orbit gateway and it was highlighted by the United Nations, the European Space Agency and the Austrian government as a key development for mankind's space technology, more details in this link.

The HERMES Delta system allows the students of this schools to connect to the orbiting satellites in real time and download their data and pictures, just as if they were operating a ground station, they can now observe the planet from north of Chile to south of Mexico and from west of the Galapagos islands to the east of Brazil in a 6000kms range, they can see the clouds, the rain, thunderstorms, vegetation, sea temperature and many other climate shaping parameters and they can even produce 3D images. The system is now available to all schools in the country.

"To observe our planet from outside is a privilege only enjoyed by scientists and astronauts, we want to popularize  the access to space and extend that privilege to our youth, to help shape better and conscious citizens with a responsible attitude with the planet." said the Space Operations director of the EXA, astronaut  Ronnie Nader during the live demonstration given in the EcoMundo school yesterday in which students, directives and the press were able to check how the system connected to the then-passing NOAA-19 at more than 3000kms over Brazil, the connection was successful and immediately an image began to form on the giant screen, where the rain clouds and the Amazonas river could be easily appreciated.

The "A SATELLITE IN THE CLASSROOM" program is the only in the world nowadays and this 2 schools are the first in being benefited with this pioneering education tool, made possible by the Ecuadorian Civilian Space Program developed by EXA since 2007.


The HERMES Project patch

Press contact: Mr. Ruben Morales - +593-82-753728 , +593-42-283285
High resolution pictures and videos:








2nd grade children of Academia Cotopaxi using HERMES Delta to work  NOAA-18 satellite in real time on classroom

EXA/11 - BP-27 / BP-E-010-112009