Ukraine's Cyclone-4 to be launched from Alcantara space center in 2013
The first launch of Ukraine's Tsyklon-4 (Cyclone-4) carrier rocket from the Brazilian Alcantara space center is planned for 2013, Ukrainian Ambassador to Brazil, Ihor Hrushko, has said.
"According to the agreement signed several years ago, Ukraine provides our launch vehicles Cyclone-4, specially modified for Brazil's conditions. The first launch will take place in 2013," he told Ukrainian journalists in San Paolo on Monday, during a state visit of President Viktor Yanukovych to Brazil.
Hrushko explained that it is a commercial project, and that the cosmodrome which is located near the equator makes the cost of the launch much lower than from other launch sites.
"The launch from this site will be about 30% cheaper," the ambassador said.
The Alcantara Launch Center is a satellite launching base of the Brazilian Space Agency in the city of Alcantara, located on Brazil's northern Atlantic coast. The CLA is the closest launching base to the equator. This gives the launch site a significant advantage in launching geosynchronous satellites.
Construction of the base began in 1982. The first launch occurred on February 21, 1990, when the sounding rocket Sonda 2 XV-53 was launched. Also, the Ongoron I and Ongoron II rockets were tested there by the French Government in 1994.
On August 22, 2003, the explosion of the third VLS-1 (XV-03) killed 21 people.
Ukraine and Brazil signed an agreement in 2003 on long-term cooperation in constructing the Cyclone-4 space rocket complex at Brazil's Alcantara space center.