Brazil to Boost Space Budget

The Gazeta do Povo reports on plans by the Dilma government to significantly increase space spending in Brazil, a boost that will allow for the launching of two new rockets:

The Brazilian Space Program will receive $ 2.1 billion federal investment over the next four years. Among the main goals are to launch four satellites and the construction of a rocket. Resources are provided in the Plan (PPA) from 2012-2015 and have the objective of restructuring the country’s space policy. Experts said the reorganization of the sector is strategic and can generate a leap of technological development in Brazil…In 2010, the budget was $ 300 million.


Brazil: IAE Conducts VLS Qualification Tests

IAE PR — The Aeronautics and Space Institute (IAE) has successfully, the test of separation of the four engines of the first stage of the Satellite Launching Vehicle (VLS). The event was successful and simulated a situation that will occur about 32 km altitude when the vehicle is in flight. The test was carried out yesterday (29/09) in the laboratory of Integration of the IAE propellants and had a team of 45 technicians and engineers between servers. The main objective was the qualification system of separation of the first stage of the VLS.

In total, 167 measurements were made from mechanical shock, vibration, quasi-static deformation, pressure, displacement, separation symmetry, as well as photo coverage, video (HD and high speed). The data collected will be analyzed and used as a basis for understanding the phenomena occurring in the vehicle during this important phase of flight. Among these phenomena are the simultaneous ejection of the engines, the tensions at the interfaces between the second and third stage and mechanical shock loads in the central body and embedded devices. Will also made a comparison between the signals acquired with the telemetry system and ground systems, an important procedure for the qualification of the measurement system in flight.

The VLS is capable of putting into orbit a satellite of 115 kg at 750 km altitude. The vehicle is separated into subdivisions, which include four stages, and ejection Hood, Power Lines and Networks Pyrotechnics.

Argentina Plans First Domestic Satellite Launch

Tronador II rocket. (Credit: Sergio Panei Pitrau)

Argentina is looking to join the exclusive club of nations with the capacity to launch its own satellites by 2013.

Engineers are now working on the new Tronador II (Thunderer II) , a two-stage rocket that will be capable of launch a 200 kg payload into low-Earth orbit. According to El Argentino, engineering faculty at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata will begin tests on a Tronador prototype next year with the intention of having a vehicle ready to launch in 2013. The work is being overseen by the National Commission on Space Activities (CONAE). Argentina’s first domestic satellite mission will lift off from a new launch pad at a military base in Puerto Belgrano.

The 34-meter tall rocket is based on the Tronador I, a single-stage booster that was first launched in 2007. The earlier rocket served as a technological testbed and only reached 20 km in altitude.

The Tronador II project is a key part of Argentina’s National Space Plan, which also the domestic development of satellite systems, the establishment of the Institute of Space Studies, the creation of information systems using space data, and the expansion of ground infrastructure.

The most intriguing goal is the creation of a regional space agency. In late August, Argentina’s Defense Minister, Arturo Puricelli, proposed the development of a South American space agency to his Brazilian counterpart, Celso Amorim. Brazil has its own ambitions in space, which include launching Ukraine’s Cyclone-4 rocket from its Alcantara Launch Center and developing a family of boosters with Russia.



Brazil, Japan to Cooperate on Micro- and Nanosats

AEB PR — A Japanese delegation comprising representatives of the embassy, ​​academia and research was received yesterday (21/09), the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), the director of the Satellite, Applications and Development (Dsad) Thyrso Villela, and the chief Advisor for International Cooperation (ACI), José Montserrat Filho. The main theme of the meeting was the possibility of joint development of micro / nanosatellites.

According to the Japanese delegation miniaturization of satellites is already a worldwide trend in two respects. The first is the low cost of manufacture. While the medium-large can cost anywhere from $ 200 to $ 500 million, small businesses are in the range of $ 2 to $ 5 million, which represents one-hundredth the price.


Emerging Powers Brazil, India Look To Space Cooperation

AEB PR — The two emerging powers need to define forms and fields of cooperation in space. The full awareness of this growing need was clear during a meeting of  Ambassador of India, BS Prakash, the President of the Brazilian Space Agency, Professor Marco Antonio Raupp, on Tuesday.

Outline was agreed by the end of the year, the concrete fields of cooperation to be effective, based on mutual interests and participation of companies from both countries. It was also agreed to devote special attention to the program in future meetings Satellite IBSA forum approved by India, Brazil and South Africa. The technical characteristics of these satellites have begun to be developed.


VLS-1 Launch Complex Readied at Alcantara

IAE PR — System Platform Release VLS-1 (SISPLAT) is nearing completion at the Alcantara Launch Center (CLA). The panels are already physically installed, the installed lighting, cameras installed Closed Circuit TV system, air conditioning and pressurization installed, Detection and Alarm Fire Fighting in the final stage, a protection system against lightning strikes in the final stage. According to the schedule of the Consortium JARAGUÁ / LAVITTA, will start next October to start tweaking and testing the installation of the automation system.

These activities will take place until late December or early January 2012. Concluded this phase is planned to integrate the mock-up (MIR), to receive the final piece in the months of March and April. This integration is only possible in March because it is the same mock-up that is in separation tests.

Ukraine Defense Minister Guarantees $250 Million for Joint Rocket Effort

Ukraine's Cyclone rocket

Brazilian Ministry of Defense PR — On a visit to the Brazilian Ministry of Defense, Defense Minister of Ukraine, Mykhailo Yezhel Bronislavovych, said today that Ukraine is transferring its part of investment in Alcântara Cyclone Space (ACS), a binational company created to market business services from rocket and satellite Maranhão.

“We have the resources of U.S. $250 million to be invested from October. We are also open to transfer technology to a new satellite launcher, the Cyclone 5, which will be produced jointly with Brazil,” he said.

The Brazilian Defense Minister, Celso Amorim, said that ACS is a strategic project for Brazil.

“Most of the program is under the control of the Brazilian Space Agency, the Defense Ministry has only a small share, but the promised contribution is excellent news, which bodes well for technological cooperation between the two countries,” he said.


Brazil, Ukraine Deepen Space Cooperation

Ukraine's Cyclone rocket

AEB PR — The space cooperation between Brazil and Ukraine has taken another important step. It was extremely productive meeting held on Tuesday, September 13, 2011, the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB)  between, headed by its chairman, Marco Antonio Raupp, delegation visits and SDO Yuzhnoye Company of Ukraine, led by its director general, Alexander Degtyarev. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Institute of Aeronautics and Space Department of Aerospace Science and Technology (DCTA), the Secretariat of Strategic Affairs (SAE) and Alcântara Cyclone Space Company (ACS).

The meeting continued the understandings started during the visit of Brazilian technical committee, headed by the President of AEB, in early July, the Ukrainian industries involved in the program of bi-national company ACS, which will promote launches of Cyclone-4 rocket, Ukraine from the center of Alcantara, Brazil, introducing a safe and economical alternative in the global market for commercial launches.


Alcântara: The Spaceport of the Future?

Charles de Gaulle -- not one of Brazil's biggest fans.

“Brazil is the country of the future…and always will be.”

So wryly observed Charles de Gaulle decades ago, marveling at how South America’s largest country, blessed with enormous resources and an industrious population, was forever failing to live up to enormous potential.

Brazil seems to be on the verge of ending that cycle. Economic and political reforms of the past decade have put the nation firmly on the path to becoming a regional and global power. During the next five years, Brazil will shine on the global stage as it hosts two of the world’s greatest sporting events, the Summer Olympics and the soccer World Cup.

And yet amid the optimism, the nation’s future is clouded by a lack of trained workers, a critical shortage of investments in key areas, and an often disorganized government. Nowhere are these shortcomings more apparent than in the nation’s space program and, in particular, its efforts to turn its sleepy Alcântara Launch Center into a world-class spaceport.


Argentina and Brazil May Team to Create South American Space Agency

Argentina has proposed to Brazil that the two nations join in creating a South American space agency:

The defense minister, Celso Amorim, on Tuesday received the proposal for the creation of a South American space agency of his Argentine counterpart, Arturo Puricelli. Puricelli, who attended the seminar “Defense Industry Transformation as an inducer of National Defence,” asked the authorities of both countries and companies to create a strategy that will enable the region to develop the space sector.

“Our communications are dependent on services that are satellite data from countries in other regions and so we must join efforts to reach space with a South American space agency,” explained the minister of Argentina.

Puricelli said for this purpose, the “existing spaces and the ability of Brazil”, besides the “potential” of Argentina in this field, which, he says, “can be very well used.” “What keeps us from having a satellite launcher South American? The challenge for ministers is to create a South American space schedule and have own satellite in 2025”, he said.

It’s an intriguing idea that might boost Brazil’s efforts to turn its Alcantara Launch Center into a full-fledged spaceport.

ISU Summer Session to be Held in Brazil in 2013

AEB PR — The International Space University (ISU) has chosen the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) to host the most important and comprehensive training program in the world. The SSP13 (Space Studies Program) will bring the Sao Jose dos Campos (SP), about 120 students from several countries to lessons about engineering and satellite applications, policy, management and space legislation, among other topics.Will be nine weeks of multidisciplinary studies of 17 June to 17 August 2013.


Brazil’s Ambitious Space Program Built on Rickety Foundation

The rising global power of Brazil has ambitious plans to become self-sufficient in launcher and space technology, although its efforts are threatened by a shortage of funding and trained personnel. In order to reach its goals, the nation has forged partnerships with Russia, Ukraine, China and other nations.

The core of Brazil’s move toward launcher independence lies with two rockets: Cyclone-4 and the Satellite Launch Vehicle (VLS-1). The Cyclone-4 is an updated version of the Soviet-era Cyclone-3 booster that is being developed by Ukraine. It has been improved upon from its predecessor by adding a more powerful third stage with a new rocket engine, a fairing derived from the Ariane 4, and an improved control system.


Alcantara Spaceport Slips as Russia Woos Ukraine on Vostochny

Ukraine's Cyclone-4 rocket

It looks like the long-delayed Brazilian-Ukrainian project to build a new spaceport in the South American country could take a bit longer than expected. The news comes as Russia has refused to become involved in the project and is wooing Ukraine to become involved in its new Vostochny spaceport in the Far East.

Interfax quotes Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov as saying that partners are looking to complete a new launch complex at Alcantara by 2014. This date would presumably delay the first launch of Ukraine’s Cyclone-4 launch from the equatorial spaceport, which had been scheduled for 2012.

Ukrainian Space Agency head Yuriy Alekseyev said that more funding is required to complete the project, according to the Ukrainian Journal.

“Today around $280 million has been spent and around $260 million more will be required… Unfortunately, Brazil has invested $50 million more in the project compared to Ukraine,” he said.


Country Report: Prospects for Ukraine’s Space Effort Looking Up

The first stage of Orbital Sciences Corporation's Taurus II vehicle is shipped out from Yuzhnoye design bureau in Ukraine. (Credt: Yuzhnoye)

After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, newly independent Ukraine was left with some significant space assets from which to build  a national program. Ukrainian companies build the Zenit, Cyclone and Dnepr launch vehicles that are used for satellite delivery. The nation also recently shipped the first stage for Orbital Sciences Corporation’s new Taurus II rocket.  Ukrainian companies contribute to the construction of Russian Soyuz and Progress vehicles, which ferry crews and supplies to the International Space Station. Ukraine also has the capability of building satellites and defense systems and has ground receiving stations.

The National Space Agency of Ukraine under Dr. Yuriy Alekseyev oversees the country’s space efforts.  Although overshadowed by its larger Russian counterpart, Roscosmos,  the NSAU is building on its Soviet-era foundation in an effort to become a force in international space.  The agency has continued to move forward despite funding difficulties, a global recession, and the bankruptcy of the Sea Launch consortium that uses the Zenit rocket. The nation, whose commercial space industry totaled $254 million in 2009, remains heavily dependent upon the Russian market although it is making major efforts at increasing its international cooperation and standing.


Video: Update on Brazilian-Ukrainian Cyclone-4 Rocket Project

The above video from SDO Yuzhnoye describes the joint Brazilian-Ukrainian Cyclone-4 project, which will involve flying the Ukrainian rocket from Brazil’s Alcantara spaceport beginning in 2012. This is not in English, but it is fairly easy to follow. An account of a September meeting between space officials from both countries with background information about the project follows after the break.