Brazil Modeled Updated Launch Licensing on FAA Regulations

Alcantara launch complex (Credit: AEB)

BRASILIA, Brazil (Brazil Space Agency PR) — The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB/MCTI) published Ordinance No. 698, of August 31, 2021, which institutes the Regulations for the Licensing of Space Activities Operator and for Launch Authorization in the Brazilian territory. The rules referring to the authorization of launch operations were published in 2002, making it necessary to update their rules.

(more…)

Launch 2020: U.S. Reclaimed Top Spot, Flew Astronauts Again from American Soil

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft is launched from Launch Complex 39A on NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley aboard, Saturday, May 30, 2020, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls & Joel Kowsky)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The United States reclaimed the top spot in launches from China last year as NASA astronauts flew into orbit from American soil for the first time in nearly nine years, SpaceX deployed the world’s first satellite mega-constellation with reused rockets, and two new launchers debuted with less than stellar results.

American companies conducted 44 launches in 2020, with 40 successes and four failures. Bryce Tech reports that U.S. companies accounted for 32 of the 41 commercial launches conducted last year. The majority of those flights were conducted by SpaceX, which launched 25 orbital missions.

China came in second with a record of 35 successful launches and four failures. The 39 launch attempts tied that nation’s previous record for flights during a calendar year.

Let’s take a closer look at what U.S. companies achieved last year.

(more…)

Hyperion, Orion AST and C6 Launch to Join Virgin Orbit at Brazil’s Alcantara Spaceport

Alcantara launch complex (Credit: AEB)

BRASILIA, Brazil (AEB PR) — The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), a public agency linked to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations, announced jointly with the Air Force Command (COMAER), responsible for the Launch Center located in the municipality of Alcântara (CLA), in the state of Maranhão, companies selected to launch orbital and suborbital non-governmental space vehicles. The announcement took place during an event organized by COMAER, on Wednesday (28), at the Brasília Air Base.

At the moment, three American companies, Hyperion, Orion AST and Virgin Orbit, and a Canadian company, C6 Launch, are under the contract negotiation phase with the Aeronautics. The public call notice was launched in May 2020 by the Brazilian Space Agency and COMAER. A second public call, referring to the use of another area within the CLA, has been in progress since last April 16th. The event was attended by the President of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro, ministers, parliamentarians and ambassadors.

(more…)

Virgin Orbit Selected to Launch Satellites from Brazil’s Alcantara Space Center

LauncherOne ignites after being dropped from Cosmic Girl. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

Leveraging existing facilities at Alcântara Space Center, the LauncherOne system allows the first ever orbital flights from Brazil

LONG BEACH, Calif., April 28, 2021 (Virgin Orbit PR)— The Brazilian Space Agency (Agência Espacial Brasileira; AEB) and Brazilian Air Force (Força Aérea Brasileira, FAB) announced today that Virgin Orbit has been selected to bring orbital launch capability to Brazil, a country which has never successfully completed a domestic launch to orbit. Thanks to the unique mobility and small footprint of Virgin Orbit’s air-launched system architecture, launches to a wide range of orbital inclinations could quickly become possible without the need for new permanent infrastructure, nor the expansion of existing facilities.

(more…)

Brazilian Space Agency Issues Second Public Call for Companies Interested in Launching from Alcântara

Alcantara launch complex (Credit: AEB)

BRASILIA, Brazil (AEB PR) — The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), a federal public agency linked to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations (MCTI), with the purpose of promoting the development of space activities of national interest, launches the second public call for bids for Brazilian and foreign companies interested in launching from Alcântara. 

(more…)

Brazilian Space Agency Articulates Partnerships Focused on Alcântara

Alcantara Space Center

Editor’s Note: This is intriguing press release from the Brazilian Space Agency about plans to conduct satellite launches from Alcantara Launch Center next year. The Atlantic coast spaceport, which is 2.2 degrees from the equator, has never hosted orbital launches despite several previous efforts over many decades that have come to naught.

It’s not clear what launch vehicle will be used. The press release mentions the Technological Safeguards Agreement with the United States that would allow U.S. satellites and launch vehicles to fly from Alcantara. A number of American launch companies have visited Alcantara to evaluate the spaceport.

Alcantara has always been the spaceport of the future. Maybe the future is now.

BRASILIA, Brazil (Brazilian Space Agency PR) — It is located in Alcântara, Maranhão, the largest space vehicle launch center in the country. Created 38 years ago, and having started operating in 1991, it is preparing to launch private launches from 2022. With the successful launch of the Brazilian satellite Amazonia 1, in India, Brazil confirms its ability to design, integrate and operate satellites and other state-of-the-art systems. Henceforth, depending on size and mass, satellites may be launched from the Alcântara Space Center (CEA).

(more…)

Brazilian Space Agency Issues First Operator Licenses for Space Activities

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) has issued its first operator licenses for space launch activities to a domestic software developer and an American engineering services company.

AEB awarded the licenses to Essado de Moraise Ltda. of Franca, Brazil, and Orion Applied Science & Technology LLC (https://orionast.com/) of Manassas, Va., the space agency said in a press release.

(more…)

Brazil Plans Launch of Brazilian Orbital Rocket from Brazilian Soil in 2022

The president of Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) said on Sunday that Brazil plans a launch a domestically-produced orbital rocket within two years, according to a news release on the agency’s website.

“We are working on the development of a more powerful engine, which is the S50, a project carried out in partnership with the national industry in São José dos Campos (SP). It incorporates a number of technological advances. We intend to start testing the engine in 2021 and make it fly by 2022,” Carlos Moura said.

Moura said launching a satellite into orbit on a Brazilian rocket from Brazilian soil is the space agency’s biggest challenge.

(more…)

Brazilian Space Sector Among Priorities of Northeast Constitutional Financing Fund for 2021

BRASILIA, Brazil (AEB PR) — The space sector was included among the guidelines and priorities for the applications of the Constitutional Fund for Financing in the Northeast (FNE) 2021. Administered by Banco do Nordeste, the special financing line will be important for the installation of companies in the space sector in the Alcântara region, in Maranhão.

The indication for the allocation of resources was made possible after the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), an autarchy linked to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations (MCTI), and the Northeast Development Superintendence (SUDENE) discussed the importance of including the space sector among the strategic areas to receive investments in 2021. Which will have an impact on the promotion and development of the Northeast region in the coming years.

(more…)

Monday Musings: Brazil’s Choices, VG’s Finances & More

Launch trajectories from Alcantara (Credit: AEB)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

A few thoughts as we begin week 403 of the Covid-19 lock down….

Location. Location. Location.

The three most important words in real estate. And Brazil’s Alcantara Launch Center has got it.

(more…)

Brazilian Space Agency Receives 14 Proposals for Use of Alcantara Spaceport

Alcantara Space Center

BRASILIA (AEB PR) — The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), an autarchy linked to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations (MCTI), informs that companies registered in the Public Call aimed at carrying out launch activities using the Alcântara Space Center (CEA) in Maranhão, you have until 5 pm (Brasília time), on August 31, 2020, to send your proposals for analysis. Altogether 14 companies signed up.

 The proposals will be verified by the Special Analysis Commission, formed by members of the AEB and the Air Force Command (COMAER). The commission was created through an act by the President of AEB, Carlos Moura. CEA may be used in launch operations from 2021.

(more…)

Report: At Least 10 Companies Interested in Launching from Alcântara

Alcantara Space Center

The Brazilian newspaper O Estado do Maranhão (The State of Maranhão) reports that there is considerable domestic and international interest in launching from that nation’s Alcântara Space Center.

The Brazilian Space blog reproduced the study here. Below is an excerpt in English translated from Portuguese via Google Translate.

(more…)

Brazilian Space Agency Issues Call for Companies Interested in launching From Alcantara

Launch trajectories from Alcantara (Credit: AEB)

BRASILIA, Brazil (AEB PR) — The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), a government agency linked to the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications (MCTIC), with the purpose of promoting the development of space activities of national interest, launches a public call to identify companies, national and international, that are interested in carrying out orbital and suborbital launch operations, using the Alcantara Space Center (CEA), in Maranhão State.

(more…)

Federal Senate Approves Brazil – United States Technology Safeguards Agreement for Alcantara Launches

Alcantara Space Center

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.

(more…)

Brazil Eyes Alcantara for Smallsat Launches

VLS-1 rocket on launch pad.

Reuters reports Brazil is eyeing the use of the Alcantara Launch Center for small satellite flights.

Brazil is ready to launch small commercial rockets from its space base near the equator as soon as it agrees to safeguard U.S. technology that is dominant in the industry, the Brazilian Air Force officer managing the space program said on Friday.

Brig. Major Luiz Fernando Aguiar said Brazil wants to get a piece of the $300 billion-a-year space launch business by drawing U.S. companies interested in launching small satellites at a lower cost from the Alcantara base on its north coast.

“The microsatellite market is most attractive today and we are interested in the 50 to 500-kilo niche,” Aguiar told Reuters at the base’s main launch pad. “We are developing a rocket for microsatellites. For that this tower is totally ready.”

[….]

Boeing Co (BA.N) and Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) in December visited the Alcantara space center, which is especially attractive to smaller firms, such as Tucson, Arizona-based rocket-maker Vector Launch Inc, because its equatorial location cuts fuel costs by a third allowing heavier payloads.