GNC Brasil Agrees to Validation Test on C6 Launch’s First Suborbital Vehicle

Alcantara Space Center

STRATFORD, ON (GNC Brasil Sistemas Críticos PR) — GNC Brasil Sistemas Críticos and C6 Launch signed a launch services agreement for the first suborbital vehicle launch by C6 Launch from the Alcantara Space Center. The mission will be a significant milestone for both companies. GNC will validate the operation and accuracy of their revolutionary inertial navigation system (INS) in space applications. The flight tests will provide tangible confirmation of C6 Launch’s vehicle design, payload integration, ground operations, and telemetry. It will be another major step on C6 Launch’s journey to space.

Richard McCammon, CEO of C6 Launch, says, he is “excited to provide GNC validation of their navigation system. Once qualified, C6 Launch intends to incorporate the GNC INS into our vehicle.”

Ricardo Tavares, CEO of GNC Brasil, expressed his enthusiasm and confidence in the prospects for technological progress: “our agreement with C6 Launch will undoubtedly allow us to reach an advanced stage in the high precision INS development.”

C6 Sistemas, C6 Launch’s Brazilian subsidiary, will act as primary operator for the mission.

About GNC Brasil Sistemas Críticos 

GNC BRASIL is a high-tech company established in 2020 specialized in developing and implementing complex, critical-technology projects. With over 30 years of experience in defense systems, aerospace engineering, systems engineering, navigation systems, control systems, smart grids, cyber security, and other strategic projects, its technical experts can offer customizable unique and innovative solutions to customers’ needs, from high-precision sensors to inertial navigation systems, attitude and heading reference systems, to platform stabilization and monitoring systems with UAV platforms and digital image processing.

About C6 Launch Systems, Corporation 

Founded in 2017 in Canada, C6 Launch is an international space-tech company focused on enabling the transport of small satellites to space and promoting a dedicated, customised service for satellite operators. It’s Brazilian subsidiary C6 Sistemas is finalizing contractual negotiations with COMAER for its future operations within the Alcantara Space Center – CEA. The company’s overarching mission is to democratize access to space, with future operations in Brazilallowing for potential partnerships in several areas of space operations.

Virgin Orbit Formally Establishes New Brazilian Subsidiary and Receives Operator’s License for Launch Operations in Alcântara

The subsidiary and license for launch operations are expected to enable launches from Brazil to space as early as 2023. Operations at Alcântara Space Center closely align with Virgin Orbit’s mission to open space for everyone, from everywhere, as the locale is geographically one of the most advantageous places in the world from which to launch satellites into orbit.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Virgin Orbit PR) — Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB) alongside the Brazilian Space Agency (Agência Espacial Brasileira; AEB) is pleased to announce that Virgin Orbit has been formally granted an operator’s license to allow LauncherOne launch operations in Brazil. The license is granted to Virgin Orbit Brasil Ltda. (VOBRA), a newly formed and wholly owned Brazilian subsidiary dedicated to bringing the LauncherOne air-launch rocket system to the Alcântara Launch Center (Centro de Lançamento de Alcântara, CLA).

The formation of the VOBRA entity for dedicated Brazilian space activities is designed to bring an important new capability to the country and economic value to the region. Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne system, which uses a customized 747 aircraft, Cosmic Girl, as its flying and fully reusable launch pad, will conduct launches from the existing airbase at the Brazilian site, flying hundreds of miles before releasing the rocket directly above the equator — a global sweet spot — or at other optimal locations identified for each individual mission.

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Vaya Space Signs Protocol of Intent with Brazilian City of Taubaté

Hybrid Rocket Company Expands Manufacturing Plans in Latin America
(Left to Right): Astronaut Marcos Pontes, Vaya Space’s Cristiano Pinto, Brazilian Minister Paulo Alvim, Taubaté mayor José Saud, and other officials at the agreement signing between Vaya Space and the City of Taubaté, Brazil on May 13 (Image Credit: Vaya Space)

Taubaté, Brazil (Vaya Space PR) — On May 13, American space tech company Vaya Space signed a protocol of intent with the Brazilian city of Taubaté. Vaya Space, a provider of hybrid rocket propulsion systems and orbital launch services, will establish a manufacturing presence in Taubaté, a major step in its strategic expansion into Latin America. The company launched its Brazilian subsidiary last year. 

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Virgin Orbit Plans First UK Launch for Late August

LauncherOne ignites on its way to space. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

LONG BEACH, Calif. — With three successful launches under its belt, Virgin Orbit is planning two flights this summer to demonstrate its agile air-launched booster system, including the first-ever satellite launch from the United Kingdom, a company executive said this week.

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INNOSPACE Signs Technology Agreement with Brazil for Suborbital Rocket Flight Test From Alcantara

The launch of the first civilian test launch vehicle, the “HANBIT-TLV”, is planned for the fourth quarter of 2022.

BRASILIA (AEB PR) — INNOSPACE, a South Korean space startup manufacturer of small launch vehicles, has signed an agreement with the Department of Aerospace Science and Technology (DCTA) to launch SISNAV, an inertial navigation system project supported by the Financier of Studies and Projects ( Finep) of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations (MCTI) and by the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB).

“Alcântara Spaceport has the conditions to host various activities related to space activity, which go beyond placing satellites in Earth orbit. In this case, we have the exemplary situation in which both a vehicle and an inertial system will be tested, both under development. We are sure that this initiative by DCTA and INNOSPACE will open a new chapter in our history of access to space”, said AEB President Carlos Moura.

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Brazil will have Companies Operating at Alcântara Spaceport in 2022

Brazilian Space Agency President Carlos Augusto Moura. (Credit: AEB)

BRASILIA, Brazil (AEB PR) — Started 20 years ago, the process of creating a spaceport — a facility that allows the launch and landing of vehicles and space modules, manned or not — is close to being completed in Brazil, said Colonel Carlos Augusto Moura, president of the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), in an interview with the program A Voz do Brasil today (14 March).

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Brazilian Space Agency and Amazon Web Service Sign Strategic Intent Statement

The objective is to support long-term growth in the regional space sector

BRASILIA, Brazil (AEB PR) — The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) signed a Term of Strategic Intent and Cooperation. The initiative, with which the Brazilian Embassy in Washington also collaborated, is the first of its kind for AWS in Latin America and will support innovation and continued growth in the country’s space industry.

AEB plays an important role in the Latin American context, being responsible for a wide variety of space activities related to space transport, satellites, research and applications. AEB has supported the strengthening of the Brazilian infrastructure for rocket launch, production and exploration of space systems. It also supports educational and research activities in astronautical and related sciences. In addition, AEB is a bilateral partner of NASA in ionospheric research and a signatory to the Artemis Agreements for the joint exploration of the Moon.

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Brazil Modeled Updated Launch Licensing on FAA Regulations

Alcantara launch complex (Credit: AEB)

BRASILIA, Brazil (Brazil Space Agency PR) — The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB/MCTI) published Ordinance No. 698, of August 31, 2021, which institutes the Regulations for the Licensing of Space Activities Operator and for Launch Authorization in the Brazilian territory. The rules referring to the authorization of launch operations were published in 2002, making it necessary to update their rules.

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Launch 2020: U.S. Reclaimed Top Spot, Flew Astronauts Again from American Soil

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft is launched from Launch Complex 39A on NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley aboard, Saturday, May 30, 2020, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls & Joel Kowsky)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The United States reclaimed the top spot in launches from China last year as NASA astronauts flew into orbit from American soil for the first time in nearly nine years, SpaceX deployed the world’s first satellite mega-constellation with reused rockets, and two new launchers debuted with less than stellar results.

American companies conducted 44 launches in 2020, with 40 successes and four failures. Bryce Tech reports that U.S. companies accounted for 32 of the 41 commercial launches conducted last year. The majority of those flights were conducted by SpaceX, which launched 25 orbital missions.

China came in second with a record of 35 successful launches and four failures. The 39 launch attempts tied that nation’s previous record for flights during a calendar year.

Let’s take a closer look at what U.S. companies achieved last year.

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Hyperion, Orion AST and C6 Launch to Join Virgin Orbit at Brazil’s Alcantara Spaceport

Alcantara launch complex (Credit: AEB)

BRASILIA, Brazil (AEB PR) — The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), a public agency linked to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations, announced jointly with the Air Force Command (COMAER), responsible for the Launch Center located in the municipality of Alcântara (CLA), in the state of Maranhão, companies selected to launch orbital and suborbital non-governmental space vehicles. The announcement took place during an event organized by COMAER, on Wednesday (28), at the Brasília Air Base.

At the moment, three American companies, Hyperion, Orion AST and Virgin Orbit, and a Canadian company, C6 Launch, are under the contract negotiation phase with the Aeronautics. The public call notice was launched in May 2020 by the Brazilian Space Agency and COMAER. A second public call, referring to the use of another area within the CLA, has been in progress since last April 16th. The event was attended by the President of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro, ministers, parliamentarians and ambassadors.

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Virgin Orbit Selected to Launch Satellites from Brazil’s Alcantara Space Center

LauncherOne ignites after being dropped from Cosmic Girl. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

Leveraging existing facilities at Alcântara Space Center, the LauncherOne system allows the first ever orbital flights from Brazil

LONG BEACH, Calif., April 28, 2021 (Virgin Orbit PR)— The Brazilian Space Agency (Agência Espacial Brasileira; AEB) and Brazilian Air Force (Força Aérea Brasileira, FAB) announced today that Virgin Orbit has been selected to bring orbital launch capability to Brazil, a country which has never successfully completed a domestic launch to orbit. Thanks to the unique mobility and small footprint of Virgin Orbit’s air-launched system architecture, launches to a wide range of orbital inclinations could quickly become possible without the need for new permanent infrastructure, nor the expansion of existing facilities.

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Brazilian Space Agency Issues Second Public Call for Companies Interested in Launching from Alcântara

Alcantara launch complex (Credit: AEB)

BRASILIA, Brazil (AEB PR) — The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), a federal public agency linked to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations (MCTI), with the purpose of promoting the development of space activities of national interest, launches the second public call for bids for Brazilian and foreign companies interested in launching from Alcântara. 

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Brazilian Space Agency Articulates Partnerships Focused on Alcântara

Alcantara Space Center

Editor’s Note: This is intriguing press release from the Brazilian Space Agency about plans to conduct satellite launches from Alcantara Launch Center next year. The Atlantic coast spaceport, which is 2.2 degrees from the equator, has never hosted orbital launches despite several previous efforts over many decades that have come to naught.

It’s not clear what launch vehicle will be used. The press release mentions the Technological Safeguards Agreement with the United States that would allow U.S. satellites and launch vehicles to fly from Alcantara. A number of American launch companies have visited Alcantara to evaluate the spaceport.

Alcantara has always been the spaceport of the future. Maybe the future is now.

BRASILIA, Brazil (Brazilian Space Agency PR) — It is located in Alcântara, Maranhão, the largest space vehicle launch center in the country. Created 38 years ago, and having started operating in 1991, it is preparing to launch private launches from 2022. With the successful launch of the Brazilian satellite Amazonia 1, in India, Brazil confirms its ability to design, integrate and operate satellites and other state-of-the-art systems. Henceforth, depending on size and mass, satellites may be launched from the Alcântara Space Center (CEA).

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Brazilian Space Agency Issues First Operator Licenses for Space Activities

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) has issued its first operator licenses for space launch activities to a domestic software developer and an American engineering services company.

AEB awarded the licenses to Essado de Moraise Ltda. of Franca, Brazil, and Orion Applied Science & Technology LLC (https://orionast.com/) of Manassas, Va., the space agency said in a press release.

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Brazil Plans Launch of Brazilian Orbital Rocket from Brazilian Soil in 2022

The president of Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) said on Sunday that Brazil plans a launch a domestically-produced orbital rocket within two years, according to a news release on the agency’s website.

“We are working on the development of a more powerful engine, which is the S50, a project carried out in partnership with the national industry in São José dos Campos (SP). It incorporates a number of technological advances. We intend to start testing the engine in 2021 and make it fly by 2022,” Carlos Moura said.

Moura said launching a satellite into orbit on a Brazilian rocket from Brazilian soil is the space agency’s biggest challenge.

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