Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Brazilian Space Agency
The Brazilian Space Agency (Agencia Espacial Brasileira) is the civilian authority in Brazil that is in charge of the country's burgeoning space programme. It operates a rocket launch site at Alcantara. Its location near the equator means that less energy is required to launch into space.
The Brazilian Space Agency is the heir to Brazil's space program. Previously, the program had been under the control of the Brazilian military. Because of pressure from the United States over the possible military application of its space program, the program was transferred into civilian control on 10 February 1994.
It suffered a major setback in 2003, when a rocket explosion killed several technicians. The first successful rocket was launched on October 23 2004; it was a VSV-30, or Brazilian Exploration Vehicle , launched on a sub-orbital mission.
The Brazilian Space Agency has pursued a policy of joint technological development with more advanced space programs. Initially it relied heavily on the United States, but after meeting difficulties from them on technological transfers, Brazil has branched out, working with other nations, including the Ukraine, Israel, and China.
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