The Federal Senate approved the Agreement on Technological Safeguards (AST) signed between Brazil and the United States. The AST, which had already been approved by the House of Representatives, ensures the protection of US technologies used in rocket and non-war satellite satellites to be launched from the Alcântara Space Center (CEA), enabling the Center to use it commercially.
With the approval of the AST, the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications (MCTIC), through the Brazilian Space Agency and the Ministry of Defense, will move to the next phase of the project, which includes the preparation of the commercial operations plan of the CEA. Launches are expected to begin in 2021.
The technology safeguard agreement (TSA) opens the way for U.S. companies interested in launching, rockets, spacecrafts and satellites at a lower cost from the Alcantara space center run by the Brazilian Air Force on the South American country’s north coast. The Brazil Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Brazil U.S. Space Alliance are organizing in March 2020 the first U.S. Space mission aiming to assist U.S. space companies interested in doing business in Brazil.
Because of the Brazilian base’s location so close to the equator, launches burn 30% less fuel and rockets can carry larger payloads, according to Air Force officers. Alcantara base is considered the best location on earth to launch rockets.
With TSA, Brazil wants to get a piece of the $300 billion-a-year space launch business, a market which is expected to grow fast in the next few years.
Source: Reuters and Brazil Florida Chamber of Commerce - BFCC