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Brazil hopes to launch satellite rocket in 2011: report

The satellite transporter is being developed by Brazilian space researchers and the air force, with Russian expertise.
by Staff Writers
Brasilia (AFP) Oct 21, 2008
Brazil hopes to have a basic version of a satellite transport rocket blasting off from its territory in 2011 after successful tests of one of the vehicle's engines this week, a report said.

The information, given by the G1 news website run by the Globo news group, confirms Brazil's ambitions to join China and Russia as a top emerging economy with its own space program.

The Brazilian Space Agency on Monday tested the second stage of its four-stage VLS-1 (the initials stand for Satellite Launch Vehicle in Portuguese).

It hopes to send a stripped-down version of the rocket into a suborbital trajectory in 2011 from its launch pad in the northern city of Alcantara, G1 said.

The plans represent a delayed timetable for the program, which has been hit over the years by setbacks and tragedy.

In August 2003, an accident involving a VLS-1 prototype in Alcantara killed 21 Brazilian technicians and engineers and destroyed the launch structure.

A new structure is being built which should be completed by the end of next year, the head of the Brazilian Space Agency, Carlos Ganem, was quoted as saying.

The satellite transporter is being developed by Brazilian space researchers and the air force, with Russian expertise.

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