Brazil-Ukraine joint venture space company eyes global satellite launch market; to start...

Brazil-Ukraine joint venture space company eyes global satellite launch market; to start operations this year

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Brazil, 20 February 2007 – An agreement between the two countries establishes that Brazil will open up its space base in Alcântara, in the northern Brazilian state of Maranhão, and Ukraine will provide its rocket launching technology. The objective is to enter the competition for the global satellite launching market, worth US$ 10 billion.

Brasília – A joint venture company for rockets and satellites, established by Brazil and Ukraine, should begin operating this year. The information was disclosed by the Director for Space Policy and Strategic Investments at the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), Himilcon Carvalho, in an interview to the Rádio Nacional radio station.

The partnership is aimed at launching rockets and satellites from the Alcântara Base, in the northeastern Brazilian state of Maranhão. The first launch should take place by 2009, according to the AEB, which completed 13 years of existence on February 10th, 2007.

Brazil will make available its launch area in Alcântara and the Ukrainians will provide the launching technology developed in Ukraine.

The company is expected to profit the equivalent of roughly 10% of the global satellite launching market, worth US$ 10 billion, over the next eight years, since countries that own satellites will be able to pay to use the base and the launching technology.

Carvalho also said that another goal of AEB is to launch the third satellite, built in partnership with China, which will provide images of the national territory, such as deforested areas in the Amazon, for instance.

“We are currently preparing our third satellite, to be launched in 2007. The satellite is being finished after a test assembly phase in the city of São José dos Campos (southeastern Brazilian state of São Paulo), at the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe),” he claimed.