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Argos
2003-Jun-26, 01:55 PM
In August we Brazilians are going to launch the first complete space mission, with a fully national rocket putting a fully national satellite in orbit. Thatīs definitely a giant leap. Itīs amazing that we can do that when space budgets are being cut across the world. And the program is ambitious: to achieve the third place in the worldīs satellite launching market, behind Europe and the USA. To do that we rely on a superb place to lauch rockets, the Alcantara Base, located next to the equator, what means more payloads with less cost. Youīd better run, youīd better take cover. :)

http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/space/06/26/brazil.reut/index.html

kucharek
2003-Jun-26, 02:03 PM
Sorry to bring you back from orbit, but the article says, it's an Ukrainian booster. Such a joint venture makes sense, as the Ukraine may be good in building boosters, but is not the best place to launch them.
Competition will get interesting when the Sojus launch complex in Kourou is ready.

Harald

Argos
2003-Jun-26, 02:06 PM
Yes, but what iīm saying is that we are going to launch our own rocket in August. The Ukrainian boosters will be replaced step by step by the Brazilian.

And iīm not in orbit, yet. :)

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-26, 03:18 PM
Yes, but what iīm saying is that we are going to launch our own rocket in August. The Ukrainian boosters will be replaced step by step by the Brazilian.

And iīm not in orbit, yet. :)

I wish VLS-1 all the best. :) It should be borne in mind, though, that it is the third attempt - and its initial payload is only around 70kg, which isn't enough to make the likes of Boeing, Krunichev or Arianespace break into a cold sweat. Though if it works, I guess rapid uprating is likely - the important thing is getting started...

Alcantara is a hell of a good location, though - and I'm all for more widespread access to space - and lots of small launchers being available. The commercial market is way depressed, but it's good news for small science missions. Fingers crossed...

Argos
2003-Jun-26, 05:04 PM
I wish VLS-1 all the best. :) It should be borne in mind, though, that it is the third attempt - and its initial payload is only around 70kg, which isn't enough to make the likes of Boeing, Krunichev or Arianespace break into a cold sweat. Though if it works, I guess rapid uprating is likely - the important thing is getting started...


I agree with you. But the important thing is that weīre on the way, amidst a depressed economic environment. I know how hard itīs been to get it on. The first flight of a complete space mission was scheduled for 1991! The cooperative aspect of the program is also something to remark. The US will use Alcantara base to launch payloads. The agreement is stalled in the congress due to a clause forbidding transfer of technology, but the general opinion is that it will pass, eventually, once the treaty is refined. I think all the world should praise this achievement. One more little hand to help us getting to Mars and beyond.



Fingers crossed...


Given the Brazilian Space Program record, weīll need to cross them pretty tight. :)

calliarcale
2003-Jun-26, 10:07 PM
Way to go, Brazil! I've read about the budding development at the Brazilian spaceport, and it's exciting to hear that it's nearing its first real test, the day when it becomes a real, living, breathing spaceport instead of just the passion and dream of ten thousand people. ;) It's the day when the passion and dream moves beyond the workers who made it a reality to the rest of the world, and it's wonderful!

More countries need to build spaceports! It's great to see Brazil leading the way like this!

tracer
2003-Jun-27, 12:49 AM
I'm surprised the U.S.'s main launch port is in Florida and not Hawaii. What with Hawaii being that much closer to the equator, and all.

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-27, 01:01 AM
I'm surprised the U.S.'s main launch port is in Florida and not Hawaii. What with Hawaii being that much closer to the equator, and all.

That's Jules Verne's fault :wink:

In terms of launch sites, these seem crazy (I just can't imagine some vast launch complex in Norfolk), but I'm still a bit sad they didn't come off:

http://members.aol.com/nicholashl/ukspace/blackarrow/northsea.htm

...but, yeah, it's true that dropping spent rocket stages on North Sea oil platforms doesn't actually seem like the best idea going.

Donnie B.
2003-Jun-27, 09:49 PM
Part of the reason why we use Florida instead of Hawaii is that the initial selection criteria for the launch site included both water and land access routes from the major aerospace manufacturing plants. The process was also somewhat politicized (that was especially true of the selection of Houston for the MSC).

Argos
2003-Aug-15, 05:54 PM
Isnīt it cute?

(VLS - Veiculo Lanįador de satélites / SLV - Satellite Launching Vehicle)

First Brazilian rocket to go to LEO.

http://galileu.globo.com/edic/99/imagens/uni_foguete1.jpg


Launching postponed til october. Fingers crossed...

Argos
2003-Aug-23, 12:16 AM
I mean, wasnīt it...

I just learned that the rocket exploded on the launch pad during tests. The problem was with one of the solid fuel rockets attached to the main fuselage.

Twenty precious minds perished in the event.

It was the third failure of VLS. There were no victims in the previous two.

The Brazilian Space Agency said that the program will go on, with the assembly of another prototype.

Iīm very upset, very sad.

gethen
2003-Aug-23, 12:23 AM
How very sad. Condolences to you and your countrymen. Why haven't we seen anything about this tragedy in the media? Or maybe I just missed it.

Argos
2003-Aug-23, 12:33 AM
Thank you, Gethen.

As to the (English language) media, the only mention I found about the fact is from space.com (http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/brazil_failure_030822.html). Itīs strange, because it seems to be the worst accident of the space age.

Gambit
2003-Aug-23, 02:06 AM
The worst accident of the space age was in 1960, when over a 100 engineers and a marshal of the USSR perished in an explosion, when inspecting a rocket that failed to launch.

kucharek
2003-Aug-23, 09:18 AM
Immediadetly when I heard on the radio of the desaster, I thought of poor Argos' posting here. Something must have gone terrible wrong and my condolences to all Brasil. :(
I just hope the reason for the desaster will not be some similar launch fever (political pressure) that caused that terrible accident in 1960 that was mentioned here.

Please Argos, keep us updated.

Harald

Roy Batty
2003-Aug-23, 11:09 AM
I read about the accident this morning... sorry Argos :(
I hope they keep perservering!

Argos
2003-Aug-23, 12:23 PM
I thank you all for the condolences, fellows.

This CNN note gives a reasonably acurate report

http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/space/08/22/brazil.rocket.explosion.ap/index.html


What I know for the moment is that the fire at the launch pad is not controlled yet. The bodies of the dead (as well as the survivors) were conveyed to Sao Jose Dos Campos (the Brazilian equivalent of Houston), at 100 km from Sao Paulo, here at southern Brazil and at approximately 3000 km from the launch base. All the technicians and engineers lived in this city. I Donīt know about foreigners being killed.

There is a veil of secrecy involving the episode (what makes me remind the Soviets in the 1960 - yes, the biggest accident ever). The Air Force is treating the event as a classified subject. The media is starting to criticize this attitude. Itīs possible that they will release significant info, upon the pressure of the public opinion.

The spokesmen for BSA remembered similar tragedies, like the ones which occured in Russia and the United States, in an attempt to consolate the population. This program is a key to Brazilian aspirations, and as far as I know It will go on.

Some boasts account that cuts in the budget, affecting some important items, may have paved the way for the disaster (weīve heard something like that before, havenīt we?). But there was no political pressure. The space program was going as smooth as it could.

Itīs funny. At the moment of the explosion, the heads of the Brazilian Space Program were meeting with their Ukranian counterparts, regarding the agreement of technology transfer to be signed between the two nations. Ukrania will use the Alcantara base to launch their rockets (and so will the US too). The Ukranians reassured the compromise saying that they understand very well this sort of drawback.

Now we are gathering the pieces and turning our eyes to the future. Hope weīll get back to the road very soon.

nebularain
2003-Aug-23, 01:10 PM
I just learned that the rocket exploded on the launch pad during tests.
During tests? What could trigger an explosion during tests? (I'm not mechanically inclined.)

My condolences, too, Argos. Having your "pride and joy" taken away like that. :cry:

Argos
2003-Aug-23, 01:20 PM
I just learned that the rocket exploded on the launch pad during tests.
During tests? What could trigger an explosion during tests? (I'm not mechanically inclined.)

My condolences, too, Argos. Having your "pride and joy" taken away like that. :cry:

Thanks Neb.

They were undertaking what they call "pyrotechnics rehearsal". Brazilian rockets rely on a technology of our own (not the most advanced one). There are some idiosyncrasies. But I canīt give further details, because they are not available for the time being.

TriangleMan
2003-Aug-23, 05:23 PM
Immediadetly when I heard on the radio of the desaster, I thought of poor Argos' posting here.

As did I. Shame that what could have been an uplifting experience for the country of Brazil instead turned into a tragedy. :(

Eric McLoughlin
2003-Aug-23, 05:46 PM
Regarding the "worst" space disaster, was not the Chinese accident a few years ago the worst? I thought "hundreds" perished when the rocket crashed onto a village.

TinFoilHat
2003-Aug-23, 08:01 PM
From what I've heard. the two previous failures of this rocket type were when uppr-stage solid boosters failed to ignite. This failure was reportedly caused by the premature ignition of a solid rocket motor. I suspect they redesigned the ignition system after the previous failurs, and somehow accidentally ignited one during prelaunch tests.

Jigsaw
2003-Aug-23, 09:41 PM
http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9603/china_rocket/

Was rocket crash deadlier than reported?

Smuggled video shows China disaster
March 24, 1996

Web posted at: 1:40 p.m. EST (1840 GMT)
XICHANG, China (CNN) -- The explosion of a Chinese rocket that crashed into a populated area on February 14 may have been deadlier than previously announced. (1.1 MB QuickTime movie)

Israel's Channel Two television has broadcast what it says is smuggled video footage of a Chinese village ravaged in the fiery crash. (1 MB QuickTime movie) The rocket was to have sent a U.S.-built satellite into orbit.

The video, reportedly taken one day after the crash, shows a large area of the town of Xichang destroyed. There are flattened houses, and apartment buildings without walls and roofs. Chinese soldiers are seen looking through the wreckage.

The Israeli report, first aired on Saturday night, said the video was shot and smuggled out by an Israeli scientist who was in China for the launch. It did not identify the scientist.

The rocket, carrying an Intelsat 708 communications satellite, veered off course within seconds after clearing the launch tower. The satellite was designed to provide voice, data, and video services across the Americas, Africa and Europe.

China lifted a veil of secrecy two weeks later, saying six people were killed and 57 wounded. But the video suggests many more people may have died.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/columbia/story/0,12845,890528,00.html


The world's worst space disaster happened even before Yuri Gagarin's historic flight on April 12, 1961. The day before the launch of the Russian R16 test flight on October 24, 1960, the rocket was still being rewired and rewelded. On launch day, engineers stopped fuel leaks by tightening the joints and noticed the fuel burned holes in their rubber gloves as they did so.

The rocket exploded 30 minutes before lift off: 59 members of the launch team died that day, 32 died of burns later. The blast also killed 74 officials and observers.

Jigsaw
2003-Aug-23, 09:43 PM
Also, an update.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/space/08/23/brazil.rocket.explosion.ap/index.html


The explosion occurred after one of the four main motors of the VLS-3 rocket accidentally ignited for reasons still unknown, Defense Minster Jose Veigas Filho said.

"The launching pad collapsed and the technicians were working there," Veigas said.

Argos
2003-Aug-24, 05:37 PM
A military pilot patrolling the area of the base said that “it was like an oven without walls”, a big fireball. According to him it wasnīt an explosion, but a very “fast combustion”. A toxic cloud formed over the area.

The Air Force said that an official report will be issued, as soon as the situation is completely assessed, but there is a consensus among the specialists that the probable cause is the premature ignition of one of the boosters of the first stage. The pad collapsed and the whole set then burned. The VLS-1 was fueled with 41 metric tons of solid propellant, a powder comprised of ammonium perchlorate (http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonium_perchlorate), aluminium and polibutadiene. Engineers said the powder is not too difficult to handle. Once set afire thereīs nothing one can do but wait until it extinguishes by itself. What caused the ignition nobody knows.

The VLS-1 is the first of a series of boosters with crescent capacity. The next step of the program will be the VLS-2, capable of putting 1000 kg at 2000 km. The culmination will be the VLS-3, which would lift 2500 kg to geostationary orbit. The INPE (National Institute for Space Research) launches routinely a suborbital rocket called Sonda-4, from another base located near Natal ( ~ 6 deg south of the Equator)[called “The Barrier of Hell” base, because of the high redish cliff walls that protect it, climbing up from the sea.]

The President reassured that the space program is vital for the interests of Brazil, and will continue whatever the cost.

Edited to fix errors.

Donnie B.
2003-Aug-24, 09:10 PM
Just so you don't think this tragedy was completely ignored here, it was mentioned (briefly) on ABC News' nightly broadcast yesterday. I don't know whether any other networks mentioned it.

parejkoj
2003-Aug-25, 05:36 AM
My condolences to the launch and support crew and their families. Getting to space is hard, but we have to keep trying.

To Argos: I hope the engineers can learn something from this, or gain some outside help perhaps (not to belittle their achievements, but sometimes a little nudge is useful!), to prevent a similar occurence in the future. "Happens once, happens twice" is a good view of safety in these circumstances, I'd say.

Keep us posted. I'd love to hear when the VLS-2 testing starts. Good Luck to them all!

Argos
2003-Aug-25, 01:55 PM
My condolences to the launch and support crew and their families. Getting to space is hard, but we have to keep trying.

To Argos: I hope the engineers can learn something from this, or gain some outside help perhaps (not to belittle their achievements, but sometimes a little nudge is useful!), to prevent a similar occurence in the future. "Happens once, happens twice" is a good view of safety in these circumstances, I'd say.


Thanks, friend. I think they will resort to all the help they can find. Indeed, there are scientific cooperation agreements with the US, the Ukrainian space sgency and the Chinese (Brazil uses Chinese rockets to put in orbit its satellites).



I'd love to hear when the VLS-2 testing starts.


The VLS-2, currently resides in the land of dreams. It is intended to be a rocket capable of putting 1 ton at a 2000 km orbit. I donīt think weīll have it flying before 2010, the way things go. Remember the VLS-1 hasnīt flown yet, and I think BSA will need to fly it at least 10 times before starting tests for VLS-2. Anyway, Iīm as eager as you to see it climbing up the skies. The good news is that the govermnet officials declared that the budget for Brazilian Space Program will be strengthened by a fresh injection of money.

An update:

Investigators said the the ignition started at engine 4, and may have been caused by electromagnetic interference.

Emspak
2003-Aug-25, 03:51 PM
To Argos and the other Brasileiros:

I was saddened to hear about the accident with the VLS. My condolences. But remember: the US space program was notable for a lot of spectacular launch pad fires of its own before the first man from here got into space, and he didn't even get into orbit. It took several missions to get to the point where we could reliably launch a satellite at all.

So keep the pressure on Lula's government to keep going.

Boa sorte.

Argos
2003-Aug-25, 04:01 PM
To Argos and the other Brasileiros:

I was saddened to hear about the accident with the VLS. My condolences. But remember: the US space program was notable for a lot of spectacular launch pad fires of its own before the first man from here got into space, and he didn't even get into orbit. It took several missions to get to the point where we could reliably launch a satellite at all.

So keep the pressure on Lula's government to keep going.

Boa sorte.

Obrigado amigo! :)

Yes weīll keep on pushing Lula. But I think we donīt have to worry because heīs shown to be an enthusiast of the space. I feel we can rely on him.

Sorry for annoying you with a long post but I prepared a little wrap-up of the history of the space program, in the hope that you will have a better picture of the scene.

The Brazilian Space Program started in the late 60īs by the will of the military junta which was in charge. The US always saw it as a factor of instability (1). They feared that the rockets could be used by the militarily inclined government of Brazil as vectors for WMDīs. So, they blocked the transfer of technology in this field for Brazil.

Brazil insisted and ended up arduously developing a technology of its own. Sometimes the country resorted to reversed engineering and, sometimes to, I would say, “by-pass” engineering. The suborbital rockets of the Sonda (Portuguese word for Probe) series (I to IV) were the base upon which the current VLS-1 was developed. Sonda was a successful rocket, having an important role in studying the atmosphere as well as in the Brazilian cosmic ray research. The double stage Sonda IV was capable of lifting 500 kg to 780 km You could say that VLS is a beam of four Sondas put together acting as auxiliary engines for the the main engine in the main body. And this has proven not to work well. All the accidents with VLS involved one of the auxiliary engines. Sometimes they ignited too soon, sometimes too late, and the rocket had to be destroyed. This time they ignited way too soon (three days sooner). It clearly means that there are problems in the Brazilian way of controlling ignition. Our “by-pass” engineering is failing here. Thereīs more to it and we donīt know what it is. And this canīt be helped, because, for commercial or military reasons, no country is willing to teach others how to do it.

This means that weīll have to persevere in our way of doing things. But I think weīll have a trustworthy rocket in two or three years.

(*) An Internet poll showed that 75% of the users support the space program and favor a budget increase. People are enthusiastic about it.

(**) Other facts:

Brazil doesnīt have territorial ambitions. The people of Brazil is peace-loving and tolerant. We are a multi-cultural diversified country, and a vibrant democracy. Although the country dominates the tech for building nuclear weapons, it voluntarily quit the development of weapons of mass destruction (way before this subject would become of public concern). The same with the development of long range ballistic missiles. The country is also an active voice in the Human Rights, disarmament and peace forums. Its governing and business elite is world-class, and very sensible.

Thereīs nothing to fear about the country of Bossa Nova. :)

(1) In fact, the US concern was not totally baseless. There were some mad falcons who nurtured an idea of a Brazil Superpower and looked for acquiring sensitive technology.
[there were even fascist gorillas who defended an idea of “lebensraum” with the annexation of neighboring countries, but they were an infinitesimal minority, even inside the hard-line ranks of the armed forces]. Some by-products of this disposition were positive; Brazil gained a modern and diversified industrial infra-structure. A sad note is the help that Brazilian military people gave to Iraqīs improvement of missiles. All this frenzy ended in 1985, with the fall of military rule.

snowcelt
2003-Aug-25, 04:06 PM
My condolences. I was deeply struck by this event. I was not aware that the great country of Brazil had such a great space program. I hope that Brazil will carry on into the future, even in a dark time, just as she always has in the past in so many other endevours. If there is a God, I hope that She will give Brazil the heart to carry on.

kucharek
2003-Aug-25, 04:21 PM
Thereīs nothing to fear about the country of Bossa Nova. :)
C'mon Argos, did you forget Yokohama 2002? ;-)

For our soccer challenged board members:
In the finals of the 2002 soccer world championship, Germany lost against Brazil. But to be honest, we were pretty happy even with this result, as we considered our team very weak and everyone expected them to return two weeks earlier to Germany than they actually did. It's no shame to loose a soccer match against Brazil. ;-)

Argos
2003-Aug-25, 05:04 PM
Thereīs nothing to fear about the country of Bossa Nova. :)
C'mon Argos, did you forget Yokohama 2002? ;-)

For our soccer challenged board members:
In the finals of the 2002 soccer world championship, Germany lost against Brazil. But to be honest, we were pretty happy even with this result, as we considered our team very weak and everyone expected them to return two weeks earlier to Germany than they actually did. It's no shame to loose a soccer match against Brazil. ;-)

Yeah, Kucharek. It was an unforgettable game for me. But I confess we trembled all over in a cold sweat before the game start. Man, do you remember Khanīs hard and menacing face? We were scared back here. Iīm a great fan of the German soccer, for the vigor and physical strength. (We Brazilians rely more in the technique fine-tuning, the dribles and stuff). Itīs not easy for us to face the sons of Odin. :)

kucharek
2003-Aug-25, 05:48 PM
Yeah, Kucharek. It was an unforgettable game for me. But I confess we trembled all over in a cold sweat before the game start. Man, do you remember Khanīs hard and menacing face? We were scared back here. Iīm a great fan of the German soccer, for the vigor and physical strength. (We Brazilians rely more in the technique fine-tuning, the dribles and stuff). Itīs not easy for us to face the sons of Odin. :)

Khan is the bad guy from ST:II ;-) But many papers titeled "The Wrath of Kahn" that time. BTW, Kahn is from Karlsruhe, his family is from here and Oliver is frequently in the city. When I was recently in Japan, I switched from "Karlsruhe is just south of Heidelberg" to "Karlsruhe is the hometown of Oliver Kahn" after I mentioned that in a talk one time and saw the reaction ;-).
And German's are fans of Brazilian soccer, so much elegance. German soccer is brute force - surely serving plenty of stereotypes on Germans.

Argos, thanks for the updates on the launch accident. There is not any longer very much here in the news, and my Portuguese is pooooor - though I can get the melody from some stuff I read on http://news.yahoo.co.br/ The INPE website is pretty quiet.

Harald

Argos
2003-Aug-26, 06:00 PM
The access to the disaster area was opened to the press on Monday. The site is not totally safe yet [The President hasnīt been there for safety reasons], but the Defense Minister Mr. Veigas decided to let the reporters in to dissipate the rumors that something was being covered. The photos (http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/folha/galeria/album/images/20030825-base-01.jpg) donīt reveal anything but mountains of melted steel and debris all over. Some metal towers in the launch area survived the firing. Thereīs nothing official, but I estimate itīll take one year to restoring normalcy.

The great loss, however, has to do with software. For instance, engineer Cesar Augusto Costalongo Varejão, was one of the two most brilliant aerospace mechanics specialists in Brazil. He lived within the Aerospace Technology Center walls for 25 of his 49 years. He was a senior member of the 110 people team who worked in Alcantara with VLS-1 (see photo gallery). (http://members.aol.com/B14643/spacerockets/Rest_World/Brasilien/Fotos/VLS.htm) He wasnīt scheduled to work that day, but his sense of duty [or sheer pleasure, I would say] kept him close to the rest of the team. Eighteen victims out of the twenty one had more than 20 years of experience. Some believe it will take two years to replace the people who died. The problem is that the new people wonīt benefit from the company, the spirit and the “coaching” of those precious veterans.

Argos
2003-Aug-26, 06:34 PM
Kahn is from Karlsruhe, his family is from here and Oliver is frequently in the city.

Tried to keep it astronomy related, but I canīt resist: have you ever met him?



When I was recently in Japan, I switched from "Karlsruhe is just south of Heidelberg" to "Karlsruhe is the hometown of Oliver Kahn" after I mentioned that in a talk one time and saw the reaction

Now I get it satronomy-related: I did the same in 1998 when Major Marcos Pontes was chosen for becoming the first Brazilian astronaut. I had a T-shirt which read "What can a poor boy do in the sleepy Bauru town?". Bauru is our common home town, a provincial town. I immediately swithced to "Bauru, land without limits!". Man I never though I could be so venal. :lol:

kucharek
2003-Aug-27, 08:49 AM
By following this link (http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/folha/galeria/album/p_20030825-alcantara-01.shtml), you can watch multiple pictures by clicking on the current one.

And, no, I never met Kahn until yet. I'm not really interested in soccer.

Harald

Argos
2003-Aug-28, 12:38 PM
The President and other top authorities made themselves present in the funeral of the dead. It was hard to see all those wives and chidren crying, on the TV. It was a very moving ceremony. I wish I never see this again.

Some of the people who perished cannot be substituted for long years, more than the two I mentioned above. Space program will end up having to resort to what the military fear the most: hiring foreigners.

Do you want to be a rocket scientist in Brazil?

kucharek
2003-Aug-28, 12:47 PM
Do you want to be a rocket scientist in Brazil?
I guess, that depends on the outcome of the investigations.
In a documentary about Kourou, they said that access to the assembly building is restricted to a fixed maximum number of people as soon as the solid rocket boosters are attached. This is controlled automatically at the entries.
I don't know the granularity of this. Maybe it would make sense not to permit all specialists on one subject to be on place at the same time.

Argos
2003-Sep-01, 02:11 PM
I don’t know how much of a conspiracy theory is in this, but here it goes:

The officers of the Air Force who investigate the causes of the explosion of the VLS consider the hypothesis of sabotage as one of the “most likely”, as there was no risky work scheduled on that date.

In Sao Luis [capital of state of Maranhao, which harbors the base], near the base, the agents inspected hotels and discovered an unusually great number of foreigners(*). According to “Isto é” magazine, eight of them are under the Fedīs scrutiny.

Another note: The Russians will help the Brazilians to determine the causes of the event.

(*) I personally suspect that those “foreigners” were only reporters of News agencies and curious people in general gathered to watch the launching.

Donnie B.
2003-Sep-01, 02:55 PM
[USA-centric mode]Wait a minute... I thought everybody down there was a foreigner![/USA-centric mode] :lol:

kucharek
2003-Oct-09, 07:47 AM
Hello Argos,

are there any updates on this thread? How's the investigation into the accident?

Harald

Argos
2003-Oct-09, 03:05 PM
Well, Kucharek. The final report issued three weeks ago concludes that an accidental electric discharge ignited the engine # 4, causing an explosion-like combustion. Sabotage ended up being ruled out (the military love to talk about sabotage…).

But the public opinion is very upset with the way the investigation was conducted. The government is to make substantial changes in the Space Program. Currently itīs run by the Air Force. The Congress wants to hand it over to the civilian management. The Air Force behaved in a typical military fashion, dropping a veil of secrecy on the investigation. Some representatives got furious. Now they want to rebuild the Space Program. They want to change the culture of the Brazilian Space Agency, opening it to the scrutiny of society. They want more money for the project. They want a living program, connected with the educational and academic systems, much like the way NASA does. This means interaction with the public (the tax payer) and information widely available. This tragedy came for good at last. Weīll make things better from now on.

I canīt find the final report on the web (ah, the military…). I did not post an update to the thread because I was waiting to include the official report on it. I will do it as soon as possible.

The next attempt to fly the rocket is scheduled to early 2005. BSA intends to launch a rocket capable of lifting 1 ton to 2000 km orbit before 2015.

ToSeek
2004-Jul-30, 06:37 PM
Brazil Back in Space (http://www.brazzil.com/2004/html/articles/jul04/p154jul04.htm)


Ukrania, China, the US, and Russia will participate in the new
phase of Brazil's Alcântara Satellite Launching Center. The
initial launch is scheduled for 2006, with a Satellite Launching
Vehicle, capable of carrying a lighter load. A heavier satellite,
which would be placed in a higher orbit, should occur around 2008.

mopc
2004-Jul-30, 11:48 PM
Thank you ToSeek for bringing this tread back to the top, cauze I just joined the forum and had not seen it. I guess I'm the only other Brazilian here aside from Argos, and was willing to learn more about my country's little know space program.

Does anybody (Argos?) have any upudate on the issue?

Another one: when will that Brazilian astronaut finally go to space? He was supposed to go on the Shuttle flight right after Columbia's disaster, but I dont know when he'll go now.

I think this Ukranian agreement is s great think, but as to the USA, it seems that the American government demands that if it were to use our base no Brazilian would have access to the base during launch preparations. Is it true? It seems that because of that requirement our Congress voted against US presence in Alcântara.

And who will be the Brazilian scientists to replace those dead in Alcântara? Has a team already been appointed.

Argos
2004-Jul-31, 01:18 PM
I guess I'm the only other Brazilian here aside from Argos

We have pteranodon, too.



Does anybody (Argos?) have any upudate on the issue?


The ministry of defense/air force has announced another try for VLS (Portuguese short for Satellite Lauching Vehicle) in 2006, as indicated in the article ToSeek provided.



Another one: when will that Brazilian astronaut finally go to space? He was supposed to go on the Shuttle flight right after Columbia's disaster, but I dont know when he'll go now.

Marcos Pontes (http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/pontes.html) will probably never fly, since Brazil has withdrawn from the ISS effort. Marcos has founded a school for preparing students for the university (http://www.eei.com.br/) in (our common home town) Bauru. Heīs doing fine as the current celebrity of the town (substituting Pele, a former dweller). Heīs also on permanent tour across the country doing lectures for the young.

Btw, we studied at the same high school (Liceu Noroeste), at the same year, but I donīt remember him at that time.

His website (in Portuguese): http://www.marcospontes.net/maina.htm



I think this Ukranian agreement is s great think, but as to the USA, it seems that the American government demands that if it were to use our base no Brazilian would have access to the base during launch preparations. Is it true? It seems that because of that requirement our Congress voted against US presence in Alcântara.

The Ukranian agreement will allow transfer of technology in areas that Brazil still doesnīt master in full (guidance systems, for instance), a thing that the US refuses to do. The US requested an area in the Alcantara facility in which Brazilians wouldnīt have access. The congress found it intolerable and vetoed the agreement. The agreement is now being rewrittten, in the attempt to fulfill Brazilian expectations. The China-Brazil agreement is successful. Chinese rockets have already launched two Brazilian satellites.



And who will be the Brazilian scientists to replace those dead in Alcântara? Has a team already been appointed.

Itīs not as hard as it seems. Fortunately, Brazil has many many talented people, and a new generation is taking control. Keep cool. :wink:

mopc
2004-Jul-31, 08:04 PM
Why has Brazil withdrawn from the ISS? What was Brazil's role supposed to be?

Argos
2004-Aug-02, 01:50 PM
Why has Brazil withdrawn from the ISS? What was Brazil's role supposed to be?

Brazil has quit the ISS because of lack of funds. There would be no ways of participating of the ISS and developing the lauching capability for the VLS series at the same time. Things got worse after the Alcantara accident. Upon pressure of the military, Brazil has opted for inverting its resources in the launching technology.

The role of Brazil in the ISS was to provide the Express Palette, a container for sci instruments that would be attached to the ISS complex.

genebujold
2004-Aug-02, 02:08 PM
In August we Brazilians are going to launch the first complete space mission, with a fully national rocket putting a fully national satellite in orbit. Thatīs definitely a giant leap. Itīs amazing that we can do that when space budgets are being cut across the world. And the program is ambitious: to achieve the third place in the worldīs satellite launching market, behind Europe and the USA. To do that we rely on a superb place to lauch rockets, the Alcantara Base, located next to the equator, what means more payloads with less cost. Youīd better run, youīd better take cover. :)

http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/space/06/26/brazil.reut/index.html

And that comes from a man down UNder!

Good for you! About time we had another space race!

ToSeek
2004-Aug-05, 04:41 PM
Amazonas satellite successfully launched (http://www.space.eads.net/web1/press/press_release.asp?id_tree=366&id_tree_nav=77&tree_ name=EADS_SPACE_WEB_PAGES&langue=en)

Argos
2004-Aug-05, 04:58 PM
I wonder why have they chosen Baikonur...

ToSeek
2004-Sep-22, 03:34 PM
Brazil In Space Pushing To Be A Player (http://www.spacedaily.com/news/launchers-04zj.html)


For years, Brazilians have aspired to possess one of the world's international commercial spaceports. They have sought to do so by using their Alcantara launch center - located near the equator on the Atlantic coast in the state of Maranhao - not only to launch their own VLS rocket, but also the rockets and commercial payloads of other nations.

ToSeek
2004-Oct-07, 04:44 PM
Brazil In Space: Views From An Astronaut (http://www.spacedaily.com/news/iss-04zzd.html)


Marcos Pontes, Brazil's first astronaut, has been trained and ready to fly to the International Space Station since the year 2000. At the moment, however, there are no plans for the 41-year-old Pontes to get a crew assignment, despite the fact he had been scheduled to fly sometime in 2001.

Argos
2004-Oct-07, 08:03 PM
Brazil In Space: Views From An Astronaut (http://www.spacedaily.com/news/iss-04zzd.html)


Marcos Pontes, Brazil's first astronaut, has been trained and ready to fly to the International Space Station since the year 2000. At the moment, however, there are no plans for the 41-year-old Pontes to get a crew assignment, despite the fact he had been scheduled to fly sometime in 2001.

I doubt he will ever fly. The first private space van might fly prior to him... :)

ToSeek
2004-Oct-08, 05:09 PM
Brazil In Space: Gaudenzi Plots A Strategy (http://www.spacedaily.com/news/launchers-04zp.html)


Brazil will hold a national conference in November to re-consider the future of its space program, according to Sergio Gaudenzi, the president of AEB, Brazil's space agency. "We plan to organize a national conference here in Brasilia to re-evaluate and perhaps even revise the Brazilian space program," Gaudenzi told United Press International in a recent interview.

ToSeek
2004-Oct-19, 05:41 PM
Brazil Signs Space Agreement With Russia (http://www.spacedaily.com/news/launchers-04zt.html)


Both countries plan to sign a memorandum of understanding during Russian President Vladimir Putin's scheduled visit to Brazil in late November. The memorandum calls for the joint development and production of launch vehicles, the launch of geostationary satellites and the joint development and utilization of Brazil's Alcantara Launch Center, an AEB officials said.

Argos
2004-Oct-19, 05:54 PM
If joint development and utilization means the Russians plan to launch any of their rockets from Alcantara

Wouldnīt it be wonderful seeing people depart to the ISS from "down there"? Yes, sir, it would.

Argos
2004-Oct-25, 12:53 PM
First rocket after Alcantara accident (http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20041024-072807-9276r.htm)