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Spaceports Around the World:
Brazil's Atlantic Spaceports
Brazil's Difficult Road to Space
Brazil's Ministry of Aeronautics has space launch and tracking facilities in northeast Brazil on the country's 4,603-mi.-long Atlantic Ocean coast near Alcantara and Natal, not far south of the equator.
The European Space Agency space launch site is nearby on the Atlantic Coast at Kourou, French Guiana, north of the equator.
VLS. The Alcantara Launch Center, Brazil's main site, is on the Atlantic coast outside of Sao Luis. Launch pads on the ground blast off Satellite Launch Vehicle or Veiculo Lancador de Satelites (VLS) space boosters, Sonda sounding rockets, meteorological rockets and other science boosters.
Brazilian scientists have launched hundreds of sounding rockets since the mid-1960's. Alcantara, also known as CLA, has a launch control center and blockhouse. Its position nearer the equator is said to offer a launch advantage over Cape Canaveral.
MECB. The Brazilian Complete Space Mission (MECB) has a control and tracking station at Cuiaba, Mato Grosso. Satellites transmit data down to an analysis station at Cuiaba for distribution across the country.
Mission control is in Cachoeira Paulista in Sao Paulo. Development is at Instituto de Pesquisas Espacias (INPE) at San Jose dos Campos.
Meanwhile, farther north, the nation's Brazilsat communications satellites have been launched by ESA from Kourou.
Space Business. The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) has plans to launch rockets and satellites from Alcantara for other nations, including the U.S., Russia and China. For instance, Ukraine signed an agreement in 2003 to blast off its small Cyclone-4 rockets from Alcantara.
A U.S.-Russian space business venture headed by the U.S. firm Lockheed Martin might launch Russian Proton rockets from Alantara.
Looking for a launch site on the equator, the People's Republic of China has considered shipping Long March rockets to Brazil for launch from Alcantara.
- Brazil's Difficult Road to Space [STO]
- Agência Espacial Brasileira [Brazilian Space Agency - AEB]
- Brazil's National Institute for Space Research [INPE]
- Brazil's National Institute for Space Research History [INPE]
- Centro de Lançamento de Alcântara [Brazil's Alcantara Launch Site]
- Ukraine President Signs Ukrainian-Brazilian Project [Cyclone-4 Rockets]
- National Space Agency of Ukraine [NSAU]
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