Brazilian/Ukrainian joint venture Alcântara Cyclone Space (ACS) is to begin operations this year with an initial $4.5 million investment, writes Jackson Flores.

The ACS link brings together the Alcântara launch centre in Brazil and Ukraine's planned Cyclone 4LV rocket.

ACS is aiming to win 10% of the satellite launch market by 2013, and has its first flight planned for 2009. The Cyclone 4LV, which Ukrainian space agency NKAU is still developing, will be capable of inserting a 1,700kg (3,520lb) payload into geostationary orbit. The payload for the first flight could be an imaging satellite that has been developed jointly by Brazil and China.

Brazilian space agency AEB plans to construct a new launch complex on the north-western edge of the Alcântara peninsula for the Cyclone 4LV before 2009, as well as modernising and upgrading existing installations at the site.

Located roughly 2º south of the equator, the new complex will have operational costs up to 31% cheaper than the USA's Cape Canaveral site in Florida, or Russia's Baikonur, Kazakhstan site, says ACS.

Source: Flight International