BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) _ Carrying a 250 pound satellite into space, the first Brazilian-made rocket should be launched in less than a month, officials said Tuesday.
The rocket, known as a satellite launching vehicle ``could be launched before Nov.10″ from Alcantara, 1,240 miles northeast of Brasilia, said Regina Franca, a press officer of Brazil’s Space Agency.
The rocket will place the SCD-2A satellite in orbit 465 miles above the Earth to collect environmental and agricultural data, Franca said.
Brazil’s first satellite was sent into orbit in 1993 on an American-made Pegasus rocket.
The Brazilian rocket, designed and built by the Air Force’s Space Activities Institute, weighs 50 tons and is 63 feet high. It will be able to place satellites weighing up to 770 pounds in orbit at distances ranging from 250 to 1,000 kilometers 155 and 620 miles above the Earth.
Another four satellite launching vehicles, each one costing dlrs 6.5 million, are being built in Brazil.