Fact Sheet: U.S.-Brazil Space Cooperation

“It’s our intention to invest in space exploration and development in a manner that promotes our fundamental belief in democracy, the rule of law, science, transparency, human rights, and the economic value of fair trade and private enterprise.”

Antony John Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State, June 15, 2021.

The Artemis Accords 

On June 15, Brazil signed the Artemis Accords, becoming the 12th nation, and first in Latin America, to join. The signing ceremony took place at Planalto Palace and was attended by President Bolsonaro, Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos Franca, and Minister of Science Technology and Innovation Marcos Pontes.

The Artemis Accords, led by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), describe a shared vision for principles, grounded in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, to create a safe and transparent environment which facilitates exploration, science, and commercial activities for all of humanity to enjoy. As of June 2021, twelve nations have signed the accords. The U.S.-led Artemis Program will include a robust global coalition to explore the Moon, Mars and other celestial bodies.

U.S.-Brazil Collaboration on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space 

  • Commercial space launch activities are also advancing in Brazil with U.S. cooperation. The Technology Safeguards Agreement (TSA) which was approved by the Brazilian Lower House on October 22, 2019, establishes the safeguards for U.S.-licensed technology for supporting the launch of satellites or space launch vehicles from the Alcantara Space Center in Brazil. The TSA opens new opportunities for commercial space cooperation and investment. For Brazil, it allows the Alcantara Space Center to enter the global market for commercial space launches, and for the U.S. it is required to permit launches of U.S.-licensed satellites or space launch vehicles from Alcantara. Recently, Brazil announced the four companies who will work out of the Alcantara launch center and three are American – Hyperion, Orion AST and Virgin Orbit.
  • The Brazilian Space Agency is a member of NASA’s Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment Program (GLOBE) science program, with 300 Brazilian schools participating in projects such as the GLOBE Mosquito Habitat Mapper (MHM) app that connects to the GLOBE database to help track mosquitoes that spread Zika and other diseases. Brazil joined the GLOBE Program after the signature of an agreement between the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) and NASA in 2015.
  • The Brazilian Space Agency and NASA cooperate on the Scintillation Prediction Observation Research Task (SPORT).  In 2019, NASA and the Brazilian Space Agency agreed to launch a jointly developed research satellite in the near future for the SPORT Mission. It will investigate ionospheric phenomena, equatorial plasma bubbles and scintillation that disrupt advanced technologies like satellite technologies, and Global Positioning System (GPS) signals. For more information, please see the Joint Communiqué on Brazil-U.S. Space Cooperation.
  • The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Brazil have a number of other agreements for space cooperation: Space Situational Awareness Agreement (August 2018), Research Design Testing & Evaluation Agreement (RDT&E) (March 2019), Major NATO Non-Ally (MNNA) Designation by US President (April 2019), and Space Weather Sharing (Ionosphere).
  • Brazil was the first nation to conduct high-level Space Engagement Talks with our U.S. Space Force and other U.S. agencies with space equities.
  • In February 2021, the City of Rio de Janeiro and NASA renewed their institutional cooperation agreement to share data, models, and scientific and operational knowledge for five more years and announced the development of a new urban flood forecasting model that will allow the City to anticipate the consequences of extreme weather events, expanding its ability to respond to emergencies.