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Federal Authority for Space Exploration (Autoridad Federal de Exploración Espacial)

Federal Authority for Space Exploration

Abbreviation: FASE

Formation: 1994

Type: Space Agency (Public)

Headquarters: Georgetown

Director: Franklin Chang-Díaz

Mission Control: Charity Space Center

Current space capabilities:

  • Can Launch satellites into space.

  • Can Satellite mapping

  • Can launch probes

  • Manned missions to space

  • Can Launch Space Shuttles


The Federal Authority for Space Exploration (FASE) (Autoridad Federal de Exploración Espacial) was founded in 1994 with the birth of the Panama Coalition. It was formed from the merger of several space agencies from the countries that made up the Coalition. During the war against the The Union of Republicas Socialistas de Centroamerica, the Panamanian government determined the need to have its own surveillance satellites to support the missions of the Defense Forces. The fall of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) led to the suspension of the Russian space program, which provided an opportunity for the Panamanian government to partner with the new Russian space agency, Roscosmos. The newest and most promising project was The Soviet space program Buran produced the Space Shuttle Buran based on the third in history super heavy Energia launcher. Energy would be used as the base for a crewed Mars mission. Buran was intended to operate in support of large space-based military platforms as a response first to the US Space Shuttle and then the Strategic Defense Initiative. By the time the system was operational, in 1988, strategic arms reduction treaties made Buran redundant. On November 15, 1988, the Buran orbiter and its Energia rocket were launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and after three hours and two orbits, glided to a landing a few miles from its launch pad. Several vehicles were built, but only the one flew an uncrewed test flight into space; it was found too expensive to operate as a civilian launcher.

After the cancellation of the Buran - Energia Project at the USSR, the Panama Coalition decided to invest in this space project, with a 70% investment and technology transfer, in addition to the construction of a cosmodrome and a Mission Control Center in Georgetown, Federal State of Guyana, together with the Manuel Rios Aerospace Base, in the Federal State of Guarico.

Very nations questioned the relevance of space activities in a newly independent nation. But neither had any ambiguity of purpose. Panama Coalition did not intend to use it merely as a means of displaying our might. There are some who question the relevance of space activities in a developing nation. Do not have the fantasy of competing with the economically advanced nations in the exploration of the Moon or the planets. But the government was convinced that if we are to play a meaningful role nationally, and in the community of nations, the nation must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies to the real problems of man and society, which we find in our country. And we should note that the application of sophisticated technologies and methods of analysis to our problems is not to be confused with embarking on grandiose schemes, whose primary impact is for show rather than for progress measured in hard economic and social terms.

Currently, the Federal Authority for Space Exploration (FASE) is a federal government organization under special public administration (similar to the Panama Canal), of the Panama Coalition (administration, infrastructure, personnel, financing, etc).

Charity Space Center Cosmodrome near Georgetown

Goals of Space Programme

  1. Extend and sustain human activities across the solar system

  2. Expand scientific understanding of the Earth and the universe

  3. Create innovative new space technologies

  4. Advance aeronautics research

  5. Enable program and institutional capabilities to conduct FSEA's aeronautics and space activities

  6. Share FASE with the public, educators, and students to provide opportunities to participate.

Other Agencies

The FASE is associated with:

Agencia Bolivariana para Actividades Espaciales (ABAE): it is a Public Private Mixed Company with 30% Russian stock shares (Russia collaborated with the experience, spaceships and technology transfer through ROSCOSMOS); 70% of the shares are private (financial investment) through a business consortium.

Comisión de Ciencias Espaciales (COSMOS): it is a civil and academic scientific organization (made up of academics, astronomers, scientists, Universities, etc.) from different universities and scientific institutes of the Panama Coalition.

Director of Federal Authority for Space Exploration (FASE)

The Director of the FASE is the former NASA astronaut Franklin Chang Díaz. He is of Costa Rican Spanish (maternal side) and Chinese (paternal side) descent. He is a veteran of seven Space Shuttle missions, tying the record, as of 2018 for the most spaceflights. Chang-Díaz is a member of the NASA Astronaut Hall of Fame. He is a mechanical engineer, physicist, He then attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he earned a Ph.D. degree in applied plasma physics. He is the founder and current CEO of Ad Astra Rocket Company.

Franklin Chang-Díaz, Director of the Federal Authority for Space Exploration (FASE)

Tracking and Control Facilities

Charity Control Center in Georgetown, Federal State of Guyana.

Manuel Rios Aerospace Base, Federal State of Guarico.

Astrophysical Observatory:

This facility is the closest major optical observatory to the equator lying at 8 degrees and 47.51 minutes north. It therefore has access to most parts of both the northern and southern skies. It benefits from a very dark site, and its altitude of 3,600 meters (12,000 feet) above sea level means atmospheric turbulence is greatly reduced.

The observatory is under the auspices of the Centro de Investigaciones de Astronomia (CIDA), the main astronomical research body in Panama Coalition and the Autoridad Federal de Exploración Espacial (FASE). CIDA conducts many projects in collaboration with other research organizations, academic institutions and international bodies. It also conducts valuable research in its own right and has a record that includes several important discoveries.

Llano del Hato National Astrophysical Observatory of the Federal State of Merida

Spaceflight programs

Later in the 20th century commercial operators became significant customers of launch providers. International competition for the communications satellite payload subset of the launch market was increasingly influenced by commercial considerations. The space launch business experienced a dramatic lowering of per-unit prices along with the addition of entirely new capabilities, bringing about a new phase of competition in the space launch market.

FASE has conducted many uncrewed and crewed spaceflight throughout its history. Uncrewed programs launched the first Coalitionist artificial satellites into Earth orbit for scientific and communications purposes. Crewed programs sent the first panamanians into low Earth orbit (LEO).

Future Projects:

Space mission to the Sun.

Space mission to Jupiter

Orbiter mission to Venus

Space Mission to Mars in collaboration with private enterprises and other nations

Manned space mission to Callisto (Jupiter)

Agencia Bolivariana para Actividades Espaciales (ABAE)

Agencia Bolivariana para Actividades Espaciales (ABAE) is a public private mixed Company with 30% Russian stock shares (Russian Federal Republic collaborated with the experience, spaceships and technology transfer through ROSCOSMOS); 70% of the shares are private (financial investment) through a business consortium. ABAE has opened Space Technology Incubation Centres (S-TIC) at premier technical universities in Panama Coalition which will incubate startups to build applications and products in tandem with the industry and would be used for future space missions. The S-TIC will bring the industry, academia and ABAE under one umbrella to contribute towards research and development (R&D) initiatives relevant to the Panamanian Space Programme. S-TICs are at the National Institute of Technology. There are a total of six (6) National Institute of Technology facilities in the entire Panama Coalition.


  • Telecommunication

  • Resource management

  • Military

  • Academic

  • Telemedicine

  • Biodiversity Information System

  • Cartography

National Institute of Technology, in Panama D.C.

International Cooperations:




Russian Federal Republic

Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities

United States of America II

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Paradisus Islands

Paradisus Space Agency

Le France

Centre national d'études spatiales

Multiple Nations

The International Space Federation

Multiple Nations

International Pacific Space Organization

Buran – Energia Project:

In June 1974, at the USSR, the decision was made to begin work on the development of a new "Reusable Space System" (MKS). The Energia-Buran system had its origin in the studies carried out between 1974 and 1975 by the NPO Energia for the search for a new space system. The Energia-Buran project, which took place during the 1970s and 1980s, is the most important space undertaking in Russian cosmonautics. In 1988 the Buran was launched into space. The flight of the Buran, meant an unprecedented technological event in the world space community, the launch, put into orbit, orbital maneuvers, descent and precision landing (of an aircraft the size of an airliner and of almost 100 tons of weight ) were carried out in fully automatic mode, without a crew.

The Soviet project froze in 1990 and was officially closed in post-Soviet Russia in 1993. In 1994 the government of the Panama Coalition began to negotiate with Russia the need for a Space Program, and, in exchange for 30% of all revenue that would be obtained from commercial use, Russia accepted the transfer of all Energia - Buran systems, its infrastructure, technology, Three An-225 cargo aircraft for the transport of spacecraft and their engines, and technical assistance for the construction of a cosmodrome in Coalition territory.

The Burán resembles the Space Shuttle of NASA, but the resemblance was the only thing they had in common. Designed several years after its North American counterpart, the Soviet spacecraft took into account the mistakes of its predecessor and is, in fact, more advanced. The Burán can be in orbit twice as long as the shuttle, 30 days instead of 15-17. It is capable of carrying 30 tons of cargo, against 24 for the American spacecraft. The Burán can also carry a crew of 10 cosmonauts.

Five Burán vehicles were built, all in Russian Federal Republic and later transferred to the Panama Coalition:

1. Buran (“Ventisca”)
2. Ptichka ("Pajarito")
3. Huracán
4. Tormenta
5. Tornado

Energia – Buran Spaceship

Space Vehicles:

Buran class orbiters: 5 spaceships.

1. Buran (“Ventisca”)
2. Ptichka ("Pajarito")
3. Huracán
4. Tormenta
5. Tornado

Crew: 0 - 4.
Passangers: 0-10
Length: 36.37 m; Wingspan: 23.92 m; Height on gear: 16.35 m;
Payload bay length: 18.55 m; Payload bay diameter: 4.65 m.
Total mass of structure and landing systems: 42,000 kg (93,000 lb)
Mass of functional systems and propulsion: 33,000 kg (73,000 lb)
Maximum payload: 30,000 kg (66,000 lb)
Maximum liftoff weight: 105,000 kg (231,000 lb)
Time of Orbit (10 crew): 30 days.

The Buran orbital vehicle was designed for the delivery to orbit and return to Earth of spacecraft, cosmonauts, and supplies.

• Capable of launching, putting into orbit, orbital maneuvers, descent and precision landing in fully automatic mode, without crew, thanks to modern computers and AI.
• Buran was designed to be capable of both piloted and fully autonomous flight, including landing.
• Has 4 Ejector seats for the 4 main crew
• Life Support System enough for 10 people for 30 days.
• Buran included a drag chute.

Like its USA counterpart, the Buran orbital vehicle, when in transit from its landing sites back to the launch complex, can be transported on the back of a large jet aeroplane – the Antonov An-225 Mriya transport aircraft.

Buran Space Orbiter over the An-225 Mriya heavy transport aircraft

Docking System and Remote Manipulator Arm in the payload bay

Original (1988) and modernized (2000) cockpit of Buran Orbiters

Crew cabin:
The cockpit is an all-metal, welded, pressurised compartment housing the crew’s workplaces, control and life support systems. It has three decks. The Command Module on the upper deck is the workspace for the crew and serves to accommodate the commander, pilot, engineer and mission specialist's seats, as well as the RMS operator's workplace. The middeck houses life support and auxiliary equipment, and up to six crewmembers could be seated there during launch and reentry. The lower deck houses the power systems.

Docking system:
The docking module is mounted into the forward part of the payload bay. It is a spherical compartment with a diameter of 2.67 m (8.8 ft), with a cylindrical tunnel leading to the androgynous peripheral docking unit (APAS-89). Unlike the U.S. Space Shuttle, the docking compartment for Buran features an extendable tunnel to increase clearance between orbiter and station. Another hatch, facing into the payload bay, was to support extravehicular activity from the orbiter.

Remote manipulator:
The Onboard Manipulator, similar to the Space Shuttle's RMS, was developed at the Central Research and Development Institute for Robotics and Technical Cybernetics to support operations with payload. It could be operated both in manual and automatic modes. Buran-class orbiter could carry, depending on the mission, one or two manipulator arms.

Laboratory modules:
To expand Buran's capabilities, pressurised modules similar to ESA's Spacelab were designed based on the 37K design. These modules had to be both compartments to conduct experiments and logistics volume, could be mounted either in the payload bay and connected to the crew cabin via tunnel or be temporarily docked to other space ships and space stations side docking port.


Energia Recoverable Rocket:

Height: 58.765 m. Diameter: 17.65 m - 7.75 m Core stage
Mass: 2,400,000 kg (5,300,000 lb)
Payload to LEO: 100 t
Payload to GTO: 20 t
Stages: 2

Is a rocket that was designed by NPO Energia to serve as a heavy-lift partially reusable launch system for a variety of payloads including the Buran spacecraft. The rocket had the capacity to place about 100 tonnes in Low Earth orbit, up to 20 tonnes to geostationary orbit and up to 32 tonnes via translunar trajectory into lunar orbit.

The Energia has a modular design that allows to "build" a vector according to the type of load to be satelliteized. The Central Block is always taken as the basis, since it has exceptional structural characteristics. RSC Energia has proposed the use of Energia -in its different versions- to:

• Recover the Earth's ozone layer.
• Moving radioactive waste beyond the Solar System.
• Illumination of the polar regions.
• Development of large space reflectors to transmit energy.
• Development of gigantic solar sails for interplanetary missions.
• Exploitation of lunar resources.
• Development of a global ecological monitoring system.
• Development of a single global information system.
• Removal of existing space debris in low Earth orbits.
• Exploration of the Universe through large space radio-telescopes.

Production of Energia rockets ended with the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Buran shuttle project. Ever since, the renewal of production was for FASE. The Energia and the Zenit boosters are still in production and in use. The four strap-on liquid-fuel boosters, which burned kerosene and liquid oxygen, were the basis of the Zenit rocket which used the same engines. The engine is the four combustion chamber RD-170. Its derivative, the RD-171, is still used on the Zenit rocket.

Energia M:

Vehicle mass: 1050t
Payload to LEO: 34.0t
Payload to GTO: 7t

The Energia M was an early-1990s design configuration, and the smallest of the three. The number of Zenit boosters was reduced from four to two, and instead of four RD-0120 engines in the core, it was to have had only one.

The launcher Energia M was elaborated for putting into orbit payloads from 4 to 35 t for low, average, high, circular and elliptic orbits (6.5 t for a geostationary orbit), as well as routes towards the Moon or the planets of the solar system.

The rocket is constituted by the systems and the vehicles of the Zenit and Energia. Energia - M includes a central block (oxygen and hydrogen tanks) created from the central block of Energia and two blocks of the 1st stage taken from Energia too.


Vulkan (Energia Rocket):

Height: 82.00 m. Diameter: 7.75 m
Gross mass: 4.500 t
Payload to LEO: 200 t
Payload to GTO: 36 t
Payload to Lunar Orbit: 46 t

Super heavy-lift version of Energia with 8 strap-on boosters, and in-line upper stages and payloads. The Vulkan is the member of the Energia family with the highest load capacity. The design foresees incorporating eight lateral impellers, four RD-0120 type engines at the base of the Central Block, and an upper stage. The weight at takeoff is estimated at around 4,500 tons, and it could place between 175 and +200 tons of cargo in low earth orbit.

Polyus II (in Energia Rocket):

2 spacecraft.

Length: 37.00 m. Maximum Diameter: 4.10 m
Mass: 80,000 kg
Associated Launch Vehicle: Energia.
Intended orbit: altitude 280 km (170 mi), inclination 64°
Targeting system: optical, radar, with low-yield laser for final targeting
Armament: 1-megawatt laser; ASAT missiles.

The Polyus II contained means of defense against both ASAT weapons and beam weapons. Missiles and one cannon was mounted on Polyus to defend against ASAT weapons. An optical sighting system for the defensive cannon was included in addition to a sighting radar. By this means hostile ASAT weapons could be tracked without generating traceable signals.

Falcon 9 (FT):

Height: 70 m; Diameter: 3.7 m
Mass: 549,054 kg (1,210,457 lb).
Payload to LEO (28.5°): 22,800 kg (50,300 lb)
Payload to GTO (27°): 8,300 kg (18,300 lb)
Payload to Mars: 4,020 kg (8,860 lb)

Falcon 9 is a partially reusable two-stage-to-orbit medium-lift launch vehicle designed and manufactured by SpaceX. Can deliver cargo to the space and 2 cosmonauts in Dragon capsule. Falcon rockets are the new generation of reusable rockets, which have the ability to take off and land back to Earth autonomously. FASE offered SpaceX the use of the Charity Space Center cosmodrome, with the advantage of being very close to the equator and therefore saving costs at launch.

Falcon Heavy:
Height: 70 m; Diameter: 3.66 m (each booster); Width: 12.2 m
Mass: 1,420,788 kg (3,132,301 lb)
Stages: 2+
Payload to LEO (28.5°): 63,800 kg (140,700 lb)
Payload to GTO (27°): 26,700 kg (58,900 lb)
Payload to Mars: 16,800 kg (37,000 lb)
Payload to Pluto: 3,500 kg (7,700 lb)

The Falcon Heavy is a partially reusable heavy-lift launch vehicle designed and manufactured by SpaceX. It is derived from the Falcon 9 vehicle and consists of a strengthened Falcon 9 first stage as the center core with two additional Falcon 9-like first stages as strap-on boosters. The Falcon Heavy has the highest payload capacity of any currently operational launch vehicle.