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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Agreement Between Amazon Web Services and AEB Rewards Brazilian Startups

Event within the SpaceBR Show was the first action within the scope of the Term of Strategic Intent and Cooperation signed between the institutions

BRASILIA (Brazilain Space Agency PR) — On the third day of the SpaceBR Show, there was a competition between eight startups in the space sector, which were selected among 21 registered, by professionals from the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), based on the degree of adherence to the space theme, to participate in pitches with Agency and AWS jurors. The event was the result of a Term of Strategic Intent and Cooperation signed between AEB and Amazon Web Services (AWS), which had as one of its objectives to foster entrepreneurship and disruption between companies in the space sector.

“We have been emphatic in saying that Brazil is one of the few countries capable of acting in all segments of the space sector. We have infrastructure, we have a consumer market, we have a creative people. For all of this to turn into a thriving space economy, we have to engage in global value chains. The partnership with AWS and the incentive for startups are part of this joint effort by the Brazilian space sector”, said AEB President Carlos Moura.

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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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Mercosur United by Space Law

BRASILIA (AEB PR) — The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) participated in the closing ceremony of the course on “Law and Cooperation in the Space Area”, promoted by the Organizzazione Internazionale Italo-Latino Americana (IILA), this Thursday (2). The course was held between November 9th and December 2nd, and was aimed at space agencies and professionals from Mercosur countries. The event was attended by the president of the AEB, Carlos Moura, as well as directors of space agencies from several countries.

“We have a lot of synergy, many challenges and goals in common, with which we can work together to bring solutions and progress to our peoples,” said Carlos.

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Brazil Successfully Tests S50 Rocket Engine for Microsat Launcher

S50 test team (Credit: Brazilian Space Agency)

This is an important step for the Brazilian Space Program, which will now advance in the construction of its Microsatellite Launch Vehicle (VLM) and VS-50.

BRASILIA, Brazil (AEB PR) — The test of the S50, which took place this Friday (1st), at a unit of the Institute of Aeronautics and Space (IAE), was a success. The engineers present were very happy with the results. Among the various authorities were the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), Marcos Pontes, the president of the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), Carlos Moura, the director of the Department of Aerospace Science and Technology (DCTA), Lieutenant Brigadier from the air Hudson Costa Potiguara, the director of the Aeronautics and Space Institute (IAE), brigadier air O`Donnell, and the president of the Aerospace Industries Association of Brazil (AIAB), Julio Shidara, as well as representatives of the national industry, for middle of Avibrás.

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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 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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