Brazilian Space Agency

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Brazilian Space Agency
Agência Espacial Brasileira
Agencia Espacial Brasileira (logo).png
Established 10 February 1994[1]
(formerly the Brazilian space program, 1961-1993)
Command structure Ministry of Science and Technology
Operational center Alcântara Launch Center
President Carlos Ganem
Annual budget $275 million (2011)[2]
Website www.aeb.gov.br

The Brazilian Space Agency (Portuguese: Agência Espacial Brasileira; AEB) is the civilian authority in Brazil responsible for the country's burgeoning space program. It operates a spaceport at Alcântara and a rocket launch site at Barreira do Inferno. The agency has given Brazil a role in space in Latin America and technically made Brazil a partner for cooperation in the International Space Station.[3]

The Brazilian Space Agency is the heir to Brazil's space program. Previously, the program had been under the control of the Brazilian military; the program was transferred into civilian control on 10 February 1994.

It suffered a major setback in 2003, when a rocket explosion killed 21 technicians. Brazil successfully launched its first rocket into space on 23 October 2004 from the Alcântara Launch Center; it was a VSB-30 launched on a sub-orbital mission. Several other successful launches have followed.[4][5][6]

On March 30, 2006, AEB astronaut Marcos Pontes became the first Brazilian and the first native Portuguese-speaking person to go into space, where he stayed on the International Space Station for a week. During his trip, Pontes carried out eight experiments selected by the Brazilian Space Agency. He landed in Kazakhstan on April 8, 2006, with the crew of Expedition 12.[7]

The Brazilian Space Agency has pursued a policy of joint technological development with more advanced space programs. Initially it relied heavily on the United States, but after meeting difficulties from them on technological transfers, Brazil has branched out, working with other nations, including China, India, Russia and Ukraine.

Launch sites[edit]

The Brazilian Space Agency's control room at the Alcântara Launch Center

Alcântara Launch Center[edit]

2°20′S 44°24′W / 2.333°S 44.400°W / -2.333; -44.400

The Alcântara Launch Center (Portuguese: Centro de Lançamento de Alcântara; CLA) is the main launch site and operational center of the Brazilian Space Agency.[8] It is located in the peninsula of Alcântara, in the state of Maranhão.[9] This region presents some excellent requirements, such as low population density, excellent security conditions and easiness of aerial and maritime access.[9] The most important factor is its closeness to the Equator - Alcântara is the closest launching base to the Equator.[8] This gives the launch site a significant advantage in launching geosynchronous satellites.[8]

Barreira do Inferno Launch Center[edit]

5°55′30″S 35°9′47″W / 5.92500°S 35.16306°W / -5.92500; -35.16306

The Barreira do Inferno Launch Center (Portuguese: Centro de Lançamento da Barreira do Inferno; CLBI) is a rocket launch base of the Brazilian Space Agency.[10] It is located in the city of Parnamirim, in the state of Rio Grande do Norte. It is primarily used to launch sounding rockets and to support the Alcântara Launch Center.[11]

Launch vehicles[edit]

The VLS on the launch pad at the Alcântara Launch Center

VLS[edit]

Main article: VLS-1

The VLS - Satellite Launch Vehicle (Portuguese: Veículo Lançador de Satélites) is the Brazilian Space Agency's main satellite launch vehicle.[12] It is a four-stage rocket composed of a core and four strap-on motors.[13] The vehicle's first stage has four solid fuel motors derived from the Sonda sounding rockets.[13] It is intended to deploy 100 to 380 kg satellites into 200 to 1200 km orbit, or to deploy 75 to 275 kg payloads into 200 to 1000 km polar orbit.[13] The first 3 prototypes for the vehicle failed to launch, with the 3rd exploding on the launch pad in 2003 resulting in the deaths of 21 AEB personnel.

The VLS-1 V4 prototype is currently under development and expected to be launched in 2013.[14][15]

VLM, VLS-Alfa and VLS-Beta[edit]

The VLM "Veiculo Lançador de Microsatelites" (Microsatelite Launch Vehicle) is also being developed based on the VLS rocket engines. Other projects derived from the VLS-1 launcher are the VLS-Alfa and VLS-Beta, under design with Russian assistance.[13]

Southern Cross program[edit]

The Brazilian Space Agency is currently developing a new family of launch vehicles in cooperation with the Russian Federal Space Agency.[16][17][18] The five rockets of the Southern Cross family will be based on Russia's Angara vehicle and liquid-propellant engines.[16]

The program was named "Southern Cross" in reference to the Crux constellation, present on the flag of Brazil and composed of five stars.[19] Hence the names of the future launch vehicles:[19]

  • Alpha (light-weight rocket)
  • Beta (light-weight rocket)
  • Gamma (light-weight rocket)
  • Delta (medium-weight rocket)
  • Epsilon (heavy-weight rocket)

The first stage of the Gamma, Delta and Epsilon rockets will be powered by a unit based on the RD-191 engine.[16] The second stage, which will be the same for all the Southern Cross rockets, will be driven by an engine based on the Molniya rocket.[16] The third stage will be a solid-propellant booster based on an upgraded version of the VLS-1.[16]

The Gamma launcher is part of the light-weight class, but using the near-equatorial position of the Alcântara Launch Center, it can place almost 1 ton of payload into a GSO.[16]

The Delta launcher is a medium-weight rocket and differs from the Gamma by having four solid-propellant boosters attached to the first stage.[16] Its payload deliverable to a GSO is 1.7 tons.[16]

The Epsilon launcher is a heavy-weight rocket with three identical units attached to the first stage.[16] It can place a four-ton spacecraft in orbit, if it is launched from Alcântara.[16]

The Brazilian government is planning to allocate $1 billion dollars for the project in the next six years.[16] It has already set aside $650 million for the construction of five launch pads able to handle up to 12 launches per year.[16] The program is scheduled to be completed by 2022.[19]

Sounding rockets[edit]

Brazilian sounding rockets

The Brazilian Space Agency has operated a series of sounding rockets.

Engines[edit]

A number of different engines[20] were developed for usage on the several launch vehicles:

  • S-10-1 solid rocket engine.[21] Used on Sonda 1. Thrust: 27 kN.
  • S-10-2 solid rocket engine.[22] Used on Sonda 1. Thrust: 4.20 kN, burn time: 32 s.
  • S-20 Avibras solid rocket engine.[23] Used on Sonda 2 and Sonda 3. Thrust:36 kN
  • S-23 Avibrassolid rocket engine.[24] Used on Sonda 3M1. Thrust:18 kN
  • S-30 IAE solid rocket engine.[25] Used on Sonda 3, Sonda 3M1, Sonda 4, VS-30, VS-30/Orion and VSB-30. Thrust: 20.490 kN
  • S-31 IAE solid rocket engine.[26] Used on VSB-30. Thrust: 240 kN
  • S-40TM IAE solid rocket engine.[27] Used on VLS-R1, VS-40, VLS-1 and VLM-1. Thrust: 208.4 kN, isp=272s.
  • S-43 IAE solid rocket engine.[28] Used on Sonda 4, VLS-R1 and VLS-1. Thrust: 303 kN, isp=265s
  • S-43TM IAE solid rocket engine.[29] Used on VLS-R1, VLS-1 and VLM. Thrust: 321.7 kN, isp=276s
  • S-44 IAE solid rocket engine.[30] Used on VLS-R1, VS-40, VLS-1 and VLM-1. Thrust:33.24 kN, isp=282s
  • L5 liquid fuel rocket engine. Used on VLS-Alfa.[31]
  • L15 liquid fuel rocket engine. Used on VS-15.[32] Thrust: 15 kN
  • L75 liquid fuel rocket engine, similar to the Russian RD-0109.[33] Used on VLS-Alfa, VLS-Beta, VLS-Omega, VLS-Gama and VLS-Epsilon. Thrust: 75 kN
  • S-50 IAE solid rocket engine. Used on VLM-1 and VS-50.[31][34]
  • L1500 liquid fuel rocket engine.[33] Used on VLS-Beta, VLS-Omega, VLS-Gama and VLS-Epsilon. Thrust: 1500 kN

Satellites[edit]

The Brazilian Space Agency has several active imagery intelligence satellites in orbit, including reconnaissance and earth observation satellites. Several others are currently in development.

Brazilian Satellites
Satellite Origin Type Operational Status
SCD1[35]  Brazil Earth observation 1993 Active
SCD2[35]  Brazil Earth observation 1998 Active
CBERS-1[36]  Brazil /  China Earth observation 1999–2003 Retired
CBERS-2[37]  Brazil /  China Earth observation 2003- Active
CBERS-2B[36]  Brazil /  China Reconnaissance 2007- Active
CBERS-3  Brazil /  China Earth observation 2013 Launch failure
CBERS-4  Brazil /  China Earth observation 2014 Planned
COM-1  Brazil Communications satellite 2014 Planned
Amazônia-1  Brazil PMM - "Plataforma Multimissão" (Multimission Platform) 2013 Planned
Amazônia-1B  Brazil PMM - "Plataforma Multimissão" (Multi-mission Platform) 2015 Planned
Flora Hiperspectral  Brazil/ United States PMM - "Plataforma Multimissão" (Multi-mission Platform) 2016 Planned
LATTES-1  Brazil/ China/ United States/ Japan Space weather (EQUARS) and X-ray space telescope (MIRAX) mission 2016 Planned
CBERS-4B  Brazil/ China Earth observation 2016 Planned
SABIA-Mar - 1  Brazil/ Argentina[38] PMM - "Plataforma Multimissão" (Multi-mission Platform) 2017 Planned
CLE-1  Brazil Low earth orbit 2018 Planned
Amazônia-2  Brazil PMM - "Plataforma Multimissão" (Multi-mission Platform) 2018 Planned
SAR-1  Brazil Earth observation 2018 Planned
MET-1  Brazil Earth observation 2018 Planned
AST-1  Brazil Low earth orbit 2019 Planned
SABIA-Mar - 1B  Brazil/ Argentina[38] PMM - "Plataforma Multimissão" (Multi-mission Platform) 2019 Planned
COM-2  Brazil Communications satellite 2019 Planned
AST-2  Brazil Low earth orbit 2020 Planned

Human spaceflight[edit]

Marcos Pontes, a lieutenant colonel in the Brazilian Air Force, is an astronaut of the Brazilian Space Agency.[39] Pontes was the first Brazilian astronaut,[40] having launched with the Expedition 13 crew from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on March 29, 2006 aboard a Soyuz-TMA spacecraft. Pontes docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on March 31, 2006, where he lived and worked for 9 days.[40] Pontes returned to Earth with the Expedition 12 crew, landing in Kazakhstan on April 8, 2006.[40] Currently, Pontes continues with his technical duties for the International Space Station program in the development and fabrication of the Brazilian parts for the ISS.[40] He is on stand-by for training for future Brazilian space flights.[40]

Name Position Time in space Launch date Mission Mission insignia Status
Marcos Pontes2.jpg Marcos Pontes Mission Specialist 9d 21h 17m March 30, 2006 Soyuz TMA-8
Soyuz TMA-7
Soyuz TMA-8 Patch.png
Active, on stand-by

International cooperation[edit]

International Space Station[edit]

The Brazilian Space Agency is a bilateral partner of NASA in the International Space Station.[41] The agreement for the design, development, operation and use of Brazilian developed flight equipment and payloads for the Space Station was signed in 1997.[41] It includes the development of six items, among which are a Window Observational Research Facility and a Technology Experiment Facility.[39] In return, 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.[41]

Ukraine[edit]

On October 21, 2003, the Brazilian Space Agency and the State Space Agency of Ukraine established a cooperation agreement creating a joint venture space enterprise called Alcântara Cyclone Space.[42] The new company will focus on launching satellites from the Alcântara Launch Center using the Tsyklon-4 rocket.[43] The company will invest $160 million dollars in infrastructure for the new launch pad that will be constructed at the Alcântara Launch Center.

In March 2009, the Brazilian Government increased its financial capital by US$ 50 million.[44]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Presidency of Brazil: Law 8.854 "That creates the Brazilian Space Agency, and other measures" Presidency of Brazil. Retrieved on 2009-07-30. (Portuguese)
  2. ^ Ministry of Planning and Budget. 2011 Federal Budget: Brazilian Space Agency (Agência Espacial Brasileira). (p. 116). Retrieved on 2011-01-17.
  3. ^ Brazilian Space Agency The Internet Encyclopedia of Science. Retrieved on 2009-07-29.
  4. ^ BBC World: Brazil Launches rocket into space BBC News. Retrieved on 2009-07-30.
  5. ^ Space.com: Brazil completes successful rocket launch Space.com. Retrieved on 2009-07-30.
  6. ^ Herald Tribune: Brazil launches rocket for gravity research International Herald Tribune. Retrieved on 2009-07-30.
  7. ^ BBC World: First Brazilian goes into space BBC News. Retrieved on 2009-07-30.
  8. ^ a b c Centros de Lançamentos: CLA Brazilian Space Agency. Retrieved on 2009-07-30. (Portuguese)
  9. ^ a b Alcantara Launch Center (2°20'S; 44°24'W) GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved on 2009-07-30.
  10. ^ Barreira do Inferno Launch Center GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved on 2009-07-30.
  11. ^ Centro de Lançamento da Barreira do Inferno Brazilian Space Agency. Retrieved on 2009-07-30. (Portuguese)
  12. ^ Veículos Lançadores: VLS Brazilian Space Agency. Retrieved on 2009-07-29. (Portuguese)
  13. ^ a b c d VLS (Brazilian rocket) The Internet Encyclopedia of Science. Retrieved on 2009-07-29.
  14. ^ Saiba como está o projeto Veículo Lançador de Satélite (VLS) Brazilian Air Force. Retrieved on 2012-03-06. (Portuguese).
  15. ^ http://www.parabolicarc.com/2011/10/11/brazil-iae-conducts-vls-qualification-tests/
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Russia Begins Elbowing Ukraine Out From Brazil's Space Program SpaceDaily.com. Retrieved on 2009-07-29.
  17. ^ Brasil e Rússia, juntos em órbita e na exploração espacial Estadão. Retrieved on 2009-07-29. (Portuguese)
  18. ^ Programa Cruzeiro do Sul DefesaBR. Retrieved on 2009-07-29. (Portuguese)
  19. ^ a b c Programa de Veículos Lançadoeres de Satélites Cruzeiro do Sul Brazilian General Command for Aerospace Technology. Retrieved on 2009-07-29. (Portuguese)
  20. ^ http://www.astronautix.com/country/brazil.htm
  21. ^ http://www.astronautix.com/stages/s101.htm
  22. ^ http://www.astronautix.com/stages/s102.htm
  23. ^ http://www.astronautix.com/engines/s20.htm
  24. ^ http://www.astronautix.com/engines/s23.htm
  25. ^ http://www.astronautix.com/engines/s30.htm
  26. ^ http://www.astronautix.com/engines/s31.htm
  27. ^ http://www.astronautix.com/engines/s40tm.htm
  28. ^ http://www.astronautix.com/engines/s43.htm
  29. ^ http://www.astronautix.com/engines/s43tm.htm
  30. ^ http://www.astronautix.com/engines/s44.htm
  31. ^ a b http://www.aeb.gov.br/download/revista/RevistaAEB_n13.pdf
  32. ^ http://brazilianspace.blogspot.pt/2011/02/projeto-samf-sistema-de-alimentacao-de.html
  33. ^ a b http://www.ecsbdefesa.com.br/defesa/fts/TPLB.pdf
  34. ^ http://brazilianspace.blogspot.com/2011/04/ola-leitor-como-voce-deve-saber.html
  35. ^ a b Satélite de Coleta de Dados - SCD GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved on 2011-01-17.
  36. ^ a b The Launch of CBERS-2B National Institute for Space Research. Retrieved on 2011-01-17.
  37. ^ Overview of the CBERS-2 United States Geological Survey. Retrieved on 2011-01-17.
  38. ^ a b http://www.inpe.br/noticias/arquivos/pdf/Plano_diretor_miolo.pdf
  39. ^ a b AEB: Human Spaceflight GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved on 2011-01-17.
  40. ^ a b c d e Astronaut Bio: Marcos C. Pontes. NASA. Retrieved on 2011-01-17.
  41. ^ a b c NASA Signs International Space Station Agreement With Brazil NASA. Retrieved on 2011-01-17.
  42. ^ Ucrânia Defesa BR. Retrieved on 2009-07-29. (Portuguese)
  43. ^ Brazil-Ukraine joint venture space company eyes global satellite launch market; to start operations this year GIS News. Retrieved on 2009-07-29.
  44. ^ Autoriza o aumento de capital social da Empresa Binacional Alcântara Cyclone Space Presidency of Brazil. Retrieved on 2009-07-29. (Portuguese)

External links[edit]