Brazil and the Ukraine will adopt a series of steps by the end of this year to speed up procedures to prepare the Alcântara Launching Center, in the state of Maranhão, for operations in 2007 involving the Ukranian Cyclone-4 missile.
This was one of the major topics discussed at a meeting last Friday between the president of the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), Sérgio Gaudenzi, the Ukranian Ambassador, Yuri Bogaievsky, and the director of International Affairs of the Ukranian National Space Agency (Nsau), Olexandr Serdyuk.
The decision to go ahead with the study of actions to be taken by the two countries was contingent upon Federal Senate approval of the treaty creating the binational company (joint venture) that will be in charge of administering operations for the launch. This approval was obtained last September 16.
The launching of the first Cyclone-4 missile in 2007 will be considered a test for the base to receive official confirmation. This procedure satisfies one of the international requirements for the Alcântara base to be used for commercial operations, which means that Brazil will be able to lease the base to other countries for missile launches.
In June, the Brazilian Congress approved a US$ 5.2 million (15 million reais) budget allotment to begin the infrastructure investments that are specifically necessary in the area that will be used for the Cyclone-4 launch.
This part of the base will house, for example, installations to assemble and transport the launch vehicle and to assemble and integrate satellites, as well as a fuel depot.
The Cyclone-4 will be an improved version of the Cyclone series, which has already been launched successfully more than 200 times.
The missile will carry payloads of up to 4,500 kilograms in low orbits and payloads of up to 1,800 kilograms in geostationary orbits (at an altitude of approximately 36 thousand kilometers), where most telecommunications and weather satellites are located.