Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (XNA) Jul 06, 2009
Brazil plans to expand its Alcantara aerospace base in the north by building 12 more rocket launching pads at there, the government said Wednesday.
Defense Minister Nelson Jobim described the project as one of "international importance." "we must not be naive. There are nations who are seeking to prevent Brazil from entering the exclusive circle of nations that launch rockets," Jobim said.
Alcantara, which is located at Maranon in Amazon state, has the broadest launch angle in the world because it is very close to the Equator, a factor that dramatically reduces launching costs, according to the minister.
There are currently three rocket launching pads at the base.
The base, which was established in 1983, had an original covering area of 62,000 hectares. But the area was then reduced to 8,713 hectares to give more land to home Quilombolas, name for descendants of runaway slaves during time of slavery.
Wednesday's proposal would expand the base to 11,287 hectares, still far from the original area.
If the plan is approved by the Congress, 2,000 Quilombolas would be transferred to a nearby area.
Source: Xinhua News Agency
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