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On 18 December 2012, the Agency’s deep-space tracking station at Malargüe, Argentina, was inaugurated in the presence of Julio de Vido, Argentina’s Minister of Federal Planning, Services and Public Investment, and Thomas Reiter, ESA’s Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations, and Alvaro Giménez Cañete, ESA’s Director of Science and Robotic Exploration.
The agreement to build and exploit the station was signed with Argentina on 16 November 2009, for a duration of 50 years. The agreement contains benefits, facilities and services to be provided by Argentina. In exchange, ESA will make available to Argentina 10% of the antenna time for their national scientific projects. Argentina’s Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE) is responsible for coordinating Argentinian use of the station.