Brazilian Space Agency President to Lead Ministry of Science

Marco Antonio Raupp

Brazilian Space Agency President Marco Antonio Raupp has been appointed by President Rousseff to take over the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. He succeeds Aloizio Mercadante, whom the president appointed to head the Ministry of Education. The former education minister, Fernando Haddad, left to run for mayor of Sao Paolo.

“I consider an honor and a challenge the new mission that is entrusted to me,” Raupp said in a statement. “I am absolutely aware of the unprecedented demand for science, technology and innovation make a vital contribution to social and economic development of Brazil.

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Brazil Sends Students to Study Rocketry in Ukraine

Editor’s Note: Brazil took a small, but significant, step this month in building up its domestic space capability by sending 10 aerospace engineering students to study in Ukraine.

The two nations are working on a joint project to launch the Ukrainian Cyclone-4 rocket from Brazil’s Alcantara Launch Center.

The foreign exchange program is part of a much larger national program, Science Without Borders, that aims to educate scientists, engineers, technicians and others overseas to build up Brazil’s technical capabilities and competitiveness.

A report from the Brazilian Space Agency on the aerospace education exchange follows after the break.

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Brazil to Boost Space Budget

The Gazeta do Povo reports on plans by the Dilma government to significantly increase space spending in Brazil, a boost that will allow for the launching of two new rockets:

The Brazilian Space Program will receive $ 2.1 billion federal investment over the next four years. Among the main goals are to launch four satellites and the construction of a rocket. Resources are provided in the Plan (PPA) from 2012-2015 and have the objective of restructuring the country’s space policy. Experts said the reorganization of the sector is strategic and can generate a leap of technological development in Brazil…In 2010, the budget was $ 300 million.

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Brazil, Japan to Cooperate on Micro- and Nanosats

AEB PR — A Japanese delegation comprising representatives of the embassy, ​​academia and research was received yesterday (21/09), the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), the director of the Satellite, Applications and Development (Dsad) Thyrso Villela, and the chief Advisor for International Cooperation (ACI), José Montserrat Filho. The main theme of the meeting was the possibility of joint development of micro / nanosatellites.

According to the Japanese delegation miniaturization of satellites is already a worldwide trend in two respects. The first is the low cost of manufacture. While the medium-large can cost anywhere from $ 200 to $ 500 million, small businesses are in the range of $ 2 to $ 5 million, which represents one-hundredth the price.

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VLS-1 Launch Complex Readied at Alcantara

IAE PR — System Platform Release VLS-1 (SISPLAT) is nearing completion at the Alcantara Launch Center (CLA). The panels are already physically installed, the installed lighting, cameras installed Closed Circuit TV system, air conditioning and pressurization installed, Detection and Alarm Fire Fighting in the final stage, a protection system against lightning strikes in the final stage. According to the schedule of the Consortium JARAGUÁ / LAVITTA, will start next October to start tweaking and testing the installation of the automation system.

These activities will take place until late December or early January 2012. Concluded this phase is planned to integrate the mock-up (MIR), to receive the final piece in the months of March and April. This integration is only possible in March because it is the same mock-up that is in separation tests.

Alcântara: The Spaceport of the Future?

Charles de Gaulle -- not one of Brazil's biggest fans.

“Brazil is the country of the future…and always will be.”

So wryly observed Charles de Gaulle decades ago, marveling at how South America’s largest country, blessed with enormous resources and an industrious population, was forever failing to live up to enormous potential.

Brazil seems to be on the verge of ending that cycle. Economic and political reforms of the past decade have put the nation firmly on the path to becoming a regional and global power. During the next five years, Brazil will shine on the global stage as it hosts two of the world’s greatest sporting events, the Summer Olympics and the soccer World Cup.

And yet amid the optimism, the nation’s future is clouded by a lack of trained workers, a critical shortage of investments in key areas, and an often disorganized government. Nowhere are these shortcomings more apparent than in the nation’s space program and, in particular, its efforts to turn its sleepy Alcântara Launch Center into a world-class spaceport.

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Frustrated Brazilian Space Research Director Stepping Down

The director of Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Gilberto Câmara, has announced that he will step down from his post later this year, about two years before the end of his term.

“I left the space agency is due to the exhaustion caused by the daily struggle with legislation and institutional structures totally inadequate to institutions of S & T. Adding to the frustration at the lack of renewal of the staff by INPE,” Câmara said in a statement.

The newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo attributes Câmara’s decision to “differences with the leadership of the Brazilian space program and a break with the president of the AEB (Brazilian Space Agency), Marco Antonio Raupp” over the future of a joint rocket project with Ukraine and a proposed merger of AEB and INPE.

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