April 13, 2017 - 09:50 ( Brasília )

Defense

Four countries interested in using Brazil's rocket launch center


Versão em português

The United States, France, Russia, and Israel are interested in using Brazil's Alcântara Space Launch Center (CLA) in Maranhão state, says Defense Minister Raul Jungmann, who visited the center and discussed Brazil's space program on Wednesday (April 12).

The CLA is the Brazilian Air Force's second rocket launching base. It is designed for satellite launch missions and used in satellite launch vehicle tests. According to Minister Jungmann, any agreements with interested parties will observe Brazil's sovereignty.

“Last week, a French group was visiting the launch center. I've been told the CLA has the required operational conditions. That means it could be launching rockets within a week if required,” the minister said.

He has been talking with the senior management of EMBRAER's Defense, a division of EMBRAER aircraft manufacturer, to allow EMBRAER and TELEBRAS telecom operator to sign deals with the CLA.

EMBRAER and TELEBRAS formed a joint venture called Visiona, which procured the Geostationary Defense and Strategic Communications Satellite (SGDC) from France-based Thales.

“I'm going to contact BNDES [Brazil's state-owned development bank] to discuss funding options for the launch center,” he concluded.