Sociedad Argentina Interplanetaria

During the 1940s Teofilo Tabanera organized a group of foreign and Argentine specialists as the Sociedad Argentina Interplanetaria, SAI (Argentine Interplanetary Society). Tabanera’s efforts ensured that Argentina was the first Latin American nation to create a spaceflight organization and in 1952 was one of the founding members of the International Astronautical Federation. Argentinean Aldo Cocca was a pioneer in space law and helped originate the idea of space being the common heritage of humankind, later enshrined in United Nations treaties of the 1960s.

Comision Nacional de Investigaciones Espaciales

In 1960 Tabanera was named head of the newly-created Comision Nacional de Investigaciones Espaciales CNIE (Spanish: Comisión Nacional de Investigaciones Espaciales), a forerunner agency founded in 1960.

CNIE worked with the Argentine Air Force’s Instituto de Investigaciones Aeronauticas y Espaciales (IIAE) to develop a number of indigenous multistage high altitude sounding rockets and missiles. Argentina was the first country in Latin America to send an object into space using an indigenously-developed rocket.

During the 1970s Argentina regularly launched the American two-stage solid propellant Castor rocket up to 500 kilometers altitude. This rocket carried international experiments for several countries.

Condor Program

In the 1980s Argentina took part in a multinational effort to develop the Condor missile. Under U.S. pressure, the Condor Program was canceled in 1991. The associated development and production facilities at Falda del Carmen were closed down, the Fabrica Militar de Aviones, which concentrated on development of surveillance satellites for earth resource and environmental monitoring.