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Quartz - Costa Rica will be the next hub for space-junk hunting radar

Carlos Alvarado Quesada was elected president of Costa Rica in 2018, putting efforts to decarbonize his country’s economy at the center of his administration—but his concern for the environment also extends to orbit.

When Alvarado was five years old, he recalls watching the first Costa Rican astronaut, Franklin Chang Diaz (pdf), speak to the then-president of Costa Rica on a call from orbit in the Space Shuttle Columbia. That moment of international space diplomacy led to this week’s announcement that Costa Rica has been chosen to host a space radar by the company LeoLabs.

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Costa Rican-American astronaut Franklin Chang Diaz during a 1996 space shuttle mission. Source: NASA