Russia Offers to Replace Washington in Boosting Brazil’s Rocket Technology

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Russia has offered Brazil assistance in the creation of light and medium-class rockets, and is awaiting response from the South American giant, Igor Arbuzov, general director of Russia’s Energomash, has revealed.

“We realized that we should enter the Brazilian market with a comprehensive proposal that would include not only engines, but rockets and plans for the modernization of the Cosmodrome. Some time ago, a round of negotiations was held,” Abruzov pointed out.

Russia wants to participate in the development of the Base of Alcantara. Abruzov also stressed that the talks included light and medium class rockets.

Arbuzov recalled that to date the two countries have concluded a series of protocols and memoranda, including documents regarding Russia’s participation in the development of the Alcantara launch center.

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In 1984, Brazil started the development of the VLS-1 light rocket, but the first two launches failed, followed by a third launch in which the rocket started early, causing the death of 21 specialists due to the explosion.

In 2003, Brazil and Ukraine entered into a cooperation agreement that provided for the commercial launch of satellites via the middle-class Cyclon rocket. However, delays in deadlines and inadequate technologies led the Brazilian government to discontinue the partnership with Ukraine in 2015.

Instead of Kiev, Brazil has now requested assistance from Moscow in the space field.

In January 2017, reports appeared that the Brazilian authorities were preparing a proposal for the US regarding the use of the Alcântara base. As planned, the Brazilian side would provide Washington with access to the cosmodrome in exchange for rocket technology. In February 2018, the Brazilian authorities announced that they were negotiating the rent of the cosmodrome with the US company SpaceX.

However, Brazil’s turn towards Russia for cooperation also signifies that Latin American countries no longer have to be subservient to or dependent on their northern neighbor, but can also turn to other Great Powers such as China and Russia. 

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