The Brazilian Space Agency says three national satellites will be launched in September and one of the craft will be carried on the country's first satellite launcher.

Two satellites, called SACI 1 and CBERS, will be launched by a Chinese Long March 2C booster, while SACI 2 will fly on the Brazilian Veiculo Lancadore Satelites (VLS) booster.

The SAC1 is a 60kg (130lb) minisatellite capable of carrying various types of payloads, in the case of this craft, three science experiments.

CBERS is the first of two planned Chinese Brazilian Earth Remote Sensing Satellites.

The VLS carrying SACI 2 will be the second such booster to fly. The first VLS satellite launch attempt failed in 1998 shortly after lift-off when a solid rocket strap-on motor malfunctioned, putting the vehicle off course.

VLS 3 is due to be launched in 2001, carrying a Brazilian-French science microsatellite.

Brazil is also providing microwave sounder on the NASA Earth Observing System EOM-1 spacecraft to be launched next year, while a Brazilian astronaut is training as a mission specialist with NASA for an International Space Station (ISS) mission.

Brazil is committed to paying NASA the equivalent of $23 million this year for ISS participation, but is having difficulty because of its economic difficulties.

Source: Flight Daily News