Brazil Space Programme

Posted by Beverley Smith on

Brazil Space Programme

Brazil is one of the many Third World countries that have a longstanding space programme with little attention in the international press. The Brazilian Space Programme includes rocketry and space exploration programs. 

Brazil Space Programme - Jupiter Future

The beginning of the Brazilian Space Program can be traced back to 1961. Before the creation of the Brazilian Space Agency, the nation’s space programme had significant capabilities in satellite manufacturing, launch sites, and launch vehicles. It was located at the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), under the Ministry of Science and Technology (MCT).

 

This program was fully controlled and managed by the military which restricted its development as other countries (like the United States) blocked technological development as a result concerns over nuclear proliferation. The space program was then changed to civilian control under the Brazilian Space Agency (Agência Espacial Brasileira in Portuguese: AEB) in February 1994.

 

The Brazilian Space Agency (Agência Espacial Brasileira in Portuguese: AEB) is simply the agency that serves as the center of authority for the country’s space activities. It manages a spaceport located at Alcântara and a rocket launch site at Barreira do Inferno.

Location of Brazil Space Port at Alcantara

 

Brazil spaceport Alcantara

Location of Brazil Space Port at Maranhaos, Alcantara

 

The Brazil Space Program

The Brazilian Space Program includes rocketry and space exploration programs. The beginning of the Brazilian space program can be traced back to 1961. Before the creation of the Brazilian Space Agency, the nation’s space programme had significant capabilities in satellite manufacturing, launch sites, and launch vehicles.

 Brazil launch Pad

Brazil launch pad 

The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) is simply the civilian authority in Brazil that is in charge of the country’s space program. The agency is responsible for making Brazil a former partner for cooperation in the International Space Station (ISS) and for providing a position for Brazil in the South America Space programme.


The agency is responsible for managing space activities in all of Brazil and for promoting national and international cooperation for improving the nation’s goals in space. The agency is also in charge of organizing the major elements of the Brazilian space activities which are currently performed by other institutions, making up the so-called National System for the Development of Space Activities – SINDAE.

 

AEB SPACE PROGRAM


The National Institute for Space Research (INPE), under the Ministry of Science and Technology, is responsible for space missions that are focused on the development of satellites and related technologies. It is also in charge of Research and Development activities in the fields of space applications, particularly Earth observation and Space and Atmospheric Sciences.


The Institute of Aeronautics and Space (IAE) is under the Ministry of Aeronautics and it was in charge of the development of satellite launchers and sounding rockets. The institute is also in charge of the development of a fully operational launch range at the Alcântara Launch Center (CLA), and for running the Barreira do Inferno Launch Center.


Other organizations that have contributed to the Brazilian Space programme are Universities and private companies. The Universities in the county have been included as supporters of the Research and Development projects and as a scientific and technical consultant. The private companies are often contracted to develop and supply systems, equipment, and services.


The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) has the legal authority to develop and implement the Brazilian National Space Activities Program (PNAE) and the Brazilian National Policy on Development of Space Activities (PNDAE). On August 1996, the Brazilian National Space Activities Program (PNAE) was formally approved.

In the following 10 years, the program was able to organize the nation’s space activities into major programs intended to achieve the objectives of the Brazilian National Policy on Development of Space Activities (PNDAE). This program was able to achieve this by utilizing the history and achievements of Brazil’s space activities being developed since the 1960s, the current capabilities and rules and regulations provided by the National Policy.


Four small data collection satellites have been developed and constructed. The first satellite was the SCD-1 which was launched in 1993 and is still functional. In order to improve the data collection service, the country launched SCD-2 and SCD-3 until 2000.

 

Brazil has been in cooperation with China in a program to develop two remote sensing satellites since 1988. These satellites are known as CBERS (China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite). These satellites are designed for global coverage with the use of optical cameras that have characteristics similar to those of Spot and Landsat.


The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) is also in cooperation with the United States’ NASA and this has lead to the launch schedule of a Brazilian CCD remote sensing camera for two experimental flights on board the Space Shuttle. As part of the EOS programme, the AEB is also developing a humidity sensor to integrate the payload of NASA’s EOS-PM1 satellite.


A government agreement was signed by Brazil and the United States. This agreement states that the AEB will be in charge of the development and provision of equipment to NASA for the International Space Station (ISS). This was initially part of NASA’s contribution to the International Space Station (ISS) program. In return for doing this, the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) will receive rights from NASA’s allocation to use the International Space Station (ISS).


The Brazilian Space program has involved a long-term launcher program since the early 1970s.This program began with the development of a successful family of sounding rockets known as SONDA. This program continues to present times and is now benefiting from the technologies developed for the satellite launcher sub-programme.


The Alcântara Launch Center (CLA) is now ready to launch a Brazilian solid fuel sounding rockets and research vehicles. It can now be used to launch satellites into low Earth orbit. This center is situated on the Brazilian Northeastern Coast, near the Equator. Its geographical position increases the Center safety conditions and enables low cost of spacecraft launches.

 

The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) also has plans to expand the capacity of the center. It has also been revealed that the center is ready to launch small commercial rockets as soon as it agrees to preserve and protect the United States technology that is still dominant in the industry.


In 2003, when a rocket explosion resulted in the death of 21 technicians, the agency experienced a major setback. The agency was also able to successfully launch its first rocket on October 23, 2003, from the Alcântara Launch Center. The rocket was a VSB-30 that was launched on a sub-orbital mission. The agency has been able to successfully launch different spacecraft after this.


The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) was also able to send its astronaut, Marcos Pontes to space to become the first Brazilian and the first native Portuguese- speaking person in space on March 30, 2006. The astronaut stayed on the International Space Station (ISS) for a week. He was able to perform eight experiments chosen by the Brazilian Space Agency. Hon April 8, 2006, he returned to Earth in Kazakhstan with the crew of Expedition 12.


The Brazilian Space Agency is pursuing cooperation with more advanced space programs for joint technological development. Originally, this cooperation was only with the United States, but after encountering challenges from them, the agency decided to branch out and work with other nations like India, Ukraine, China, and Russia.

REFERENCES
Wikipedia
Wikipedia
Economist
Reuters
Iafastro

 

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