Brazil launches rocket to test launching base 2009-05-30 08:54:59   Print

    RIO DE JANEIRO, May 29 (Xinhua) -- The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) on Friday launched a rocket to test the facilities at the Alcantara Launching Center, the AEB said.

    The launching, which took place on Friday afternoon, was "a complete success", AEB said in a statement.

    The mission was code-named Maracati 1 under a partnership between Brazil and Germany. It was the first launch from the Alcantara base since 2007.

    The rocket, named Orion 1, was developed by Germany. It was equipped with tracking devices and reached 93 kilometers high before falling into the sea about 80 kilometers off the Brazilian coast.

    The Alcantara Launching Center, built in 1983 in the northeastern Maranhao state, is the closest launching base to the equator, which gives the base a significant advantage in launching geosynchronous satellites.

    In 2003, a rocket explosion in the base killed 21 people and completely destroyed Alcantara's launch pad.

    The AEB's next launch of a rocket is scheduled in 2010.

Editor: Xiong Tong
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