Brazil returns to a NASA space program after the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovations (MCTI), Marcos Pontes signed the Joint Declaration of Intent, together with NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, in December. The document inserted Brazil among the countries that wish to collaborate with the Artemis Program, a mission that should take the human being back to the Moon. The Brazilian contribution must be materialized in a lunar rover.
The partnership will be carried out by the Brazilian Space Program, which has 19 projects and a budget of R $ 106 million already registered in this year’s Union Budget. In an interview with the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, the president of the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), Carlos Moira, said that “if we are to think strictly within the fiscal sphere, we cannot launch new projects. We hope that Congressmen will be touched by this very promising opportunity and will provide a small amount ”.
The intention, according to him, is for the government to be the first investor in the program and, thus, to attract private initiative; one of the first projects to be made viable will come from a public call for the development of research tools on the moon, along the lines of how NASA works today.
Parts for the ISS
This is not the first agreement that Brazil has signed with the American space agency. In 1997, AEB undertook to supply NASA, for the International Space Station (ISS) under construction, six pieces; on the other hand, the country could have access to the space station, sending an astronaut (the current minister Marcos Pontes).
One of the objectives of the agreement was to train domestic industry. The most important part (Express Pallet) alone had a manufacturing cost of US $ 300 million. AEB had a budget of US $ 120 million.
If in 2002 NASA began to question Brazil about compliance with the agreement, in 2007 the country was finally removed from the list of equipment manufacturers for the ISS by the American space agency. “It is already too late for Brazil to do anything, except as a user of the station,” said one of the NASA Council members, John Logsdon at the time.