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The Mexican satellite Bicentenario (Bicentennial) was sent into orbit Wednesday from a launching pad in French Guiana. It will provide high-speed Internet, digital communications, and communications for the educational system, such as videoconferencing. It is to be part of a three-satellite system: The satellite Centenario is to be put in orbit in 2013 and Morelos 3 in 2014.
In February, Mexican space officials, at an appearance at the Institute of the Americas in San Diego, said they hoped the satellites would help Mexico track down drug traffickers and give early warnings of possible major environmental problems.