BRASILIA (Brazilian Space Agency PR) — The Senate Plenary approved on Tuesday (12.11) the Technological Safeguards Agreement (AST) signed between Brazil and the United States. AST ensures the protection of US technologies used in non-warfare rocket and satellite embedded components to be launched from the Alcântara Space Center (CEA), enabling commercial use of the Center.
With the approval of the AST, the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications (MCTIC), through the Brazilian Space Agency and the Ministry of Defense, will move to the next phase of the project, which includes the preparation of the commercial operations plan of the CEA. Launches are expected to begin in 2021.
The other scope of this phase is dialogue with government, the community and other local actors to plan the improvement of the region’s infrastructure around the Alcântara Space Center. Minister Marcos Pontes accompanied the approval of the matter in the Plenary and stressed that the communities in the region will benefit from the implementation of the Center.
“The agreement affects these quilombola communities in a very positive way. We want that region to be integrated into the operation of the center in a way that brings social and economic development. They have to have elementary schools, vocational schools, start-ups, and local workforce training. We will talk to the communities, the local government and prepare the infrastructure of the roads, schools, hotels and the production chain, ”said Marcos Pontes.
What is AST?
The Technology Safeguards Agreement (AST) entered into between Brazil and the United States ensures that Brazil is committed to protecting, against copying or theft, US technologies (from a simple chip to a complex system) used in rocket and / or shipboard components. non-warlike satellites to be launched from the CEA. About 80 percent of the components used in rockets and satellites are American.
Sovereignty remains inviolable. The Brazilian Space Center will continue to be controlled exclusively by the Brazilian government, under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defense and the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), linked to the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications (MCTIC).
The Alcântara Space Center has a privileged geographical location 2 ° 18 ‘from the Equator line, which saves up to 30% fuel economy compared to other launches in various parts of the world. It is known as the “Brazilian Window to Space” and also the main launching center of the southern hemisphere.
Benefits to Brazil
Based on the last 20 years in which the agreement was not in force and considering only 5% of launches in the world, Brazil stopped earning about R $ 15 billion.
With the operation of the CEA and the conservative estimate that Brazil participates in at least 1% of the world market, the calculations show that the country collects US $ 3.5 billion per year, thus reaching, by 2040, the $ 10 billion annually.
The start of the CEA operation, in addition to opening the world space launch market for Brazil, will allow the region’s economic development, fostering entrepreneurship, creating new companies, new jobs, investing in tourism and much more.
Check out the MCTIC booklet that answers the main questions about the AST: http://www.aeb.gov.br/ast-acordo-de-salvaguardas-tecnologicas-entre-o-brasil-e-os-estados- united-of-america /