Brazil and Ukraine create consortium to launch spacecraft
12 September 2006
On 29 September the Brazilian Space Agency (BSA) will unveil Projeto Ciclone (Cyclone Project), which centres on the creation of a Brazilian-Ukrainian consortium, Alcântara Ciclone Space, for the purpose of launching rockets and satellites from Alcântara space centre in the state of Maranhão in northeast Brazil.
According to BSA president Sérgio Gaudenzi, the first launch will be that of the rocket Ciclone IV in late 2008 or early 2009. The rocket, which has already undergone a long series of successful tests, will be able to put into orbit a Brazilian geostationary satellite which will operate in the fields of air-traffic control, meteorology and communications.
Brazil expects to be able to operate commercial launches of rockets and satellites, the profits from which (possibly as high as US$ 10bn over the next eight years) will be shared with Ukraine.
The project will also help Brazil achieve independence in the field of space technology, and offers the possibility that Alcântara Ciclone Space will recruit Brazilian professionals as scientists, technicians and engineers.
As well as Ukraine, Brazil also has space cooperation agreements with Russia, the European Union, India and the United States, and shares a satellite with China.
Source: Agência Brasil