USA: NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin and the Brazilian Space Agency President Dr. Luiz Gylvan Meira signed an implementing arrangement providing for the design, development, operation and use of Brazilian developed flight equipment and payloads for the International Space Station (ISS).
Under this arrangement, the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) will provide for use on the Space Station a Technology Experiment Facility (TEF) and an Expedite the Processing of Experiments to Space Station (EXPRESS) pallet.
The TEF will provide long-term exposure to the space environment for active and passive experiments. EXPRESS will serve as an interface mechanism to attach small payloads to U.S. truss segments of the Space Station. Both pieces of hardware will provide greater capability for experiments that require exposure to the space environment on the station’s exterior.
Brazil also will supply a Window Observational Research Facility, which will be used as a mount with data and power connections for optical experiments to perform observations of the Earth. Other contributions will include an Unpressurized Logistics Carrier (ULC) and associated equipment for transportation of ISS cargo on the Space Shuttle.
The ULC is a cargo carrier to be used for station items, such as exterior spare parts and maintenance equipment, that do not require a pressurized environment. In exchange for AEB-provided equipment and support, NASA will provide Brazil with access to its ISS facilities on-orbit, as well as a flight opportunity for one Brazilian astronaut during the course of the ISS program.
With the signing of this arrangement, Brazil joins as a bilateral partner of the United States in the International Space Station.
The assembly of the ISS begins in June 1998 with the launch of the Functional Cargo Block, a U.S. financed, Russian built and launched vehicle. The U.S. node is scheduled for launch on Shuttle mission STS-88 in July 1998. Assembly of the Space Station will be completed in 2003.