Latin America looks to space, despite limitations on ground

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Space-related news is not just flowing from the world’s richest, biggest nations. Take Latin America. On Feb. 17, the congress in Nicaragua approved a law creating a space agency. Costa Rica did the same on Feb. 18, the day that NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on Mars. The potential benefits of space are tantalizing for many countries with scarce resources. Satellite technology, international partnerships, national pride and local development all beckon. Inevitably, critics suspect a boondoggle, a vanity project, a diversion from pressing problems. But advocates say such programs can help in fields ranging from agriculture to communications to disaster management.