Brazil's first geostationary satellite for defense and strategic communications was launched Thursday (May 4). President Muchel Temer, Defense Minister Raul Jungmann, and Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications Minister Gilberto Kassab watched from the 6th Regional Air Command headquarters in Brasília as the satellite was launched from Kourou Space Center in French Guiana.
Arianespace's control center in French Guiana said it made a “perfect” liftoff.
The satellite was released from the launching vehicle at 28 minutes after liftoff, and will reach the desired position within 10 days.
After that, tests will be carried out for 30 days. By mid-June, the Armed Forces will be able to take operational control of the satellite. The communications band can begin to be used as of September.
A South Korean satellite was also on the same launching vehicle launched by Arianaspace.
The 5.8-ton, 5-meter high satellite for Brazil will be positioned 36,000 kilometers off the Earth's surface, covering the entire Brazilian territory and the Atlantic Ocean. It is designed to operate for at least 18 years.
The project is a collaboration between Brazil's Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications, and involves investments of $850 million. The equipment was bought by TELEBRAS, and will be used for strategic government communications and to expand broadband coverage in the country, especially in remoter areas.
Translated by Mayra Borges