Innospace, a South Korean rocket startup, has reached an agreement with Brazil to launch the first suborbital test flight of HANBIT TLV in Q4 of this year.
Hi, HANBIT: The 15-ton thrust, single-stage hybrid rocket that will be flown from Brazil is but one step in a longer journey. HANBIT TLV is designed to validate the first stage of HANBIT Nano, Innospace’s forthcoming small launcher with 50 kg of payload capacity.
- The suborbital vehicle will carry SISNAV, an inertial navigation system payload, for the Brazilian military.
- It will lift off from the Alcântara Space Center, which is operated by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB).
FAB and the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) are opening up Alcântara to more commercial endeavors and foreign launchers. Alcântara is a crown jewel of a launch site, geographically and strategically speaking, as it’s located on the northern coast of Brazil and just two degrees south of the equator.
- In 2019, US and Brazil signed a technological safeguards agreement to facilitate US-origin satellite launches from Alcântara.
- Last April, Virgin Orbit announced that it would launch from Alcântara. In addition, Hyperion, Orion AST, and C6 Launch are negotiating agreements with FAB/AEB for commercial suborbital/orbital launches.
“Alcântara does not have a tough schedule. You have a lot of slots that can be used by everybody,” AEB President Carlos Moura told Payload last month. “What we are finding is that most of the companies do not need to be in our country for a long time. They want to arrive, use it for a few weeks, and then get out.”
“Some of them are really planning, if everything goes okay, to invest in their own facilities,” Moura said. “That’s why the government and ministries are organizing this, in order to upgrade the infrastructure in the city.”