Spain and Argentina are working together on the Cesar satellite, planned for launch in 2003. Cesar, which will be developed by Spain's Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aeroespacial (INTA) and Argentina's space agency CONAE, will transmit 5m (16ft)-resolution images of the earth.

A launcher for the 400kg (880lb) spacecraft has not been selected, but Europe's new small booster Vega is considered a possibility.

The civilian remote sensing satellite will carry panchromatic and multispectral cameras. Its panchromatic pictures could have military applications, says INTA. The $7 million craft will be launched into a 600km (370 miles) sun-synchronous orbit and will have a platform based on Spain's first satellite, Minisat 01, launched in 1997.

There are plans to launch a Minisat 2, which will be a communications satellite.

Source: Flight International