June 01, 2017 - 11:00 ( Brasília )

Defense

Brazilian rocket launch center ready


Fernanda Cruz

Alcântara Launch Center (CLA) in Maranhão, Northeast Brazil, is ready to be used by Brazil's partner countries—the United States, France, Russia, and Israel—Defense Minister Raul Jungmann said at Brazil Investment Forum 2017 in São Paulo today (May 31).

“It's all set and finished—just a key turn away. Such a [convenient] location, and we need the funds indeed,” the minister said.

He said the Foreign Ministry has signed an agreement with the United States, which should be the first country to use the center. France also sent a mission a month ago to tour the facility.



The start of the operations is still to be defined. The center has an area of 8,000 hectares, and the minister said an expansion is under negotiation. “With an additional 12,000 hectares—and this is being negotiated—the launch center would be able to accommodate as many as six countries.

It would really boost our funding,” he said. With the expansion, profit from the launches could go from $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion. The base is going to launch smaller-scale research rockets, but not satellites.