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

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
April 23, 2021
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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. 

Whoever wants to participate in this second public call, must access the public notice and comply with the necessary steps so that, if qualified, they are forwarded for contractual negotiation with Aeronautics, responsible for the Management of the Launch Center.

The proposals will be analyzed by the Coordination Commission, which has members of the AEB, responsible for prospecting customers for non-government launches, and the Air Force Command, responsible for managing the Launch Center. The first public notice was launched in May 2020 and will have the results published by Aeronáutica together with the AEB / MCTI.

About the Public Call

This notice is designed to identify national or foreign companies that are interested in carrying out orbital launch operations using area 04 of the Alcântara Space Center (CEA).

In Cooperation Agreement No. 01/2020, signed between the Air Force Command and AEB, the Agency was empowered to carry out initial negotiations with national or foreign companies interested in using the goods and services for launching non-space vehicles. military personnel using CEA.

The CEA consists of the set of goods and services used for the launch of non-military space vehicles in the national territory, providing the necessary infrastructure to support the specific activities of launch companies. This condition is necessary to enable the Brazilian insertion in the international and regional market in the space area.

In comparative terms, the Alcântara Space Center has unique characteristics, such as: the privileged location of the available sites, approximately 2º18 ‘south of the Equator; proximity to the sea, which makes it possible to launch into polar and equatorial orbits; low population density; absence of earthquakes and hurricanes; low air traffic density; and ideal location for responsive launches , among others.

About AEB

The Brazilian Space Agency, central body of the National System for the Development of Space Activities (SINDAE), is an autarchy linked to the MCTI, responsible for formulating, coordinating and executing the Brazilian Space Policy.

Since its creation, on February 10, 1994, the Agency has worked to make the efforts of the Brazilian State to promote the well-being of society, through the sovereign employment of the space sector.

2 responses to “Brazilian Space Agency Issues Second Public Call for Companies Interested in Launching from Alcântara”

  1. therealdmt says:

    I wonder if they’ll have Chinese bidders and, considering restrictions that could resultingly be placed on US corporations that might operate from Alcántara now or in the future, whether Brazil would let them in

    • duheagle says:

      There were allegedly a number of potential Alcantara users, including, it was said, SpaceX, that “kicked the tires” at Alcantara in the wake of last year’s solicitation, but nothing seems to have come of that. This current solicitation seems even less likely to yield any fruit except perhaps from a European-based smallsat launch startup or two. No one flying really big rockets seems to need Alcantara enough to justify the logistics and other difficulties inherent in using it. If Brazil actually wants anything much to fly out of Alcantara, I think it’s going to have to rely on its own domestic aerospace sector to supply same.

      Brazil has long struck me as one of those places that, by rights, should have long since become a much more significant player on the world stage than it has. The problem, as near as I can make out, is that Brazilians have a certain lack of self-confidence, at a national level, that has repeatedly hobbled them. Brazil’s GDP is about 2/3 that of France, for instance, and less than 1/2 of Germany’s despite Brazil having 2.5 times the population of Germany and over three times that of France. One looks at those numbers and begins to appreciate what has now become an old joke to the effect that Brazil is a nation of the future – and always will be.

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