Satellites will be launched into space from Venezuela "sooner rather than later," President Nicolas Maduro said.

The president spoke at a ceremony marking the handover from China to Venezuela of control over the South American country's Miranda satellite.

"Someday, Chinese ambassador, I am telling you that we will continue working so that one day here in Venezuela ... we will have a center for launching satellites into space from Venezuelan soil," Maduro said during the ceremony attended by Chinese Ambassador to Venezuela Zhao Rongxian.

"Yes, we can. We have done the studies, and sooner rather than later we are going to do it," the president said.

China handed over control of Miranda, a geographic information satellite built and launched from Chinese territory in September 2012, to Venezuela on Monday.

The satellite provides information used in urban planning, agriculture, military operations and other areas.

"This is the latest step forward in the sovereign technology we are building in Venezuela and for our people," Maduro said.

Technology transferred by China will allow Venezuela to build its own satellites in the future, the president said.

Venezuela has another satellite, the Simon Bolivar, which handles telecommunications and was also manufactured in China.

The Miranda satellite was launched by China Great Wall Industry Corporation, or CGWIC, an aerospace company that is a unit of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

CGWIC built the Simon Bolivar satellite, which was launched into space in October 2008. EFE