Alcantara Marks 29th Year, Looks Forward to Orbital Launches

ALCÂNTARA (March 6, 2012 — State of Maranhão PR) — The 29 years of foundation of the Alcantara Launch Center, in Maranhão, yesterday, were marked by priorities to be implemented this year: the completion of the process of technological modernization, eight campaigns rocket launches entry-level intermediary, the operation of the Tower Mobile Integration (TMI) and the first ground test of the Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV).

The anniversary ceremony was attended by the deputy governor of Maranhão, Washington Oliveira, Senator Edison Lobão Filho and the President of the Legislative Assembly of Maranhao, Arnaldo Melo, who have been awarded the title of Friend of the Alcantara Launch Center, a recognition of the personalities that CLA, in the context of their professional duties, have contributed to the success of the Brazilian Space Program.

During the ceremony, the director of the CLA, engineer Colonel César Demétrio Santos recalled former managing director Ricardo Rodrigues Rangel, who conducted a study aimed at training the teams and modernization of operational launchers. He also stated that for the biennium, part of the preparations for the launch of the Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV), considered the flagship of the Brazilian Space Program.

“I want to remember the efforts of Colonel Ricardo Rangel, who gave me the CLA release in excellent condition. We are fully prepared to play major activities successfully,” he said during the ceremony.

This year, the great expectation revolves around the first practical tests of TMI with the integration of a simulator of the VLS. The test will be on the ground with an inert carrier and fuel, but it will be possible to evaluate all systems in the tower. It is expected that this activity be carried out until the second half.

“We’re concluding the important steps in relation to TMI. We are currently making adjustments to the beginning and end of the second half will be conducting this test with the simulator of the VLS. The main priority of my administration is to continue all that has been done and leave the CLA in technological conditions excellent for large releases,” said Colonel Demétrio.

Launches – The launching campaigns should be started from the 12th of this month with Operation Falcon, which will launch a rocket Basic Training (FTB). The CLA hopes to launch, also in 2012, a VSB-30 – medium size rocket intended to carry out experiments in microgravity.

Colonel Demétrio noted partnerships with other countries and highlighted the relationship between Brazil and Ukraine with the creation of binational Alcantara Cyclone Space (ACS), which is in the execution phase of structural works of the launching sites. The company, which was installed in an area belonging to the CLA, will release the Cyclone-4 rocket, a Ukrainian model and developing technology that integrates a series of successful experiments. “Brazil has various partnership firm, for some developments of rockets, other campaigns. In Ukraine, a release is expected next year,” he said.

Pride – Senator Edison Lobão Filho highlighted the importance of the Alcantara Launch Center for the Brazilian Space Program, said that while states’ commitment to support and establish partnerships for the development of space activities, as well as for the whole region. “The CLA is a project located in a strategic position which allows for greater performance in the world space launch. That fact alone shows how privileged we are in our geographical position and Maranhão had to embrace this cause and did not waste this opportunity, “said Lobão Filho.

The deputy governor also attests that Washington Oliveira Maranhao is a state privileged to host such an important project for national sovereignty and noted the importance of partnerships to state that the project will grow in line with the interests of the region in which it is located. “The CLA is a project of fundamental importance for the Brazilian nation. The government of Maranhao has been actively working to contribute to the expansion project. We are involved with social projects related to the community and also have a work conflict mediation, facilitating dialogue with the community, “defined.

According to Oliveira, the installation of CLA for almost three decades has changed the economy of the town of Alcantara with the generation of employment for the community. He also pointed out the final entry of Brazil into the select group of countries that dominate the aerospace technology. “We’re just partners for the exploration of space activities bring benefits to Brazil, and especially to the region where the CLA is installed,” he added.

History – Established by Decree No. 88,136 and activated on the 1st of March, Launch Center (CLA) was the alternative to the expansion of the Brazilian Space Program due to the impossibility of expanding the Launch Center of Barreira do Inferno (CLBI) , because the process of urban expansion in Natal (RN). In addition to choosing the city of Alcantara, were taken into account studies that showed the location as the most suitable for deployment over a national spaceport.