BRASILIA – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Ukrainian counterpart Victor Yanukovich agreed Friday on a plan to launch a jointly developed satellite from the South American nation in 2014.
The two leaders spoke by telephone for 20 minutes about their countries’ “strategic” partnership in the aerospace sector, spokespeople in Rousseff’s office told Efe.
That partnership dates from 2003, when Brazil and Ukraine embarked on the Cyclone 4 Alcantara project, which involves developing a launch vehicle to put satellites into orbit from the Alcantara base in the northeastern Brazilian state of Maranhao.
The $588 million venture is part of Brazil’s drive to join the club of countries capable of launching satellites, now limited to the United States, Russia, China, France, India, Israel, Japan and Ukraine.
The first launch from Alcantara was initially scheduled for next year, but financial problems forced a postponement.
Yanukovich took the opportunity of Friday’s call to invite Rousseff to visit Ukraine sometime next year and the Brazilian president accepted the invitation, her office said. EFE