Can space cooperation lead to reduced prices at the pump, a more enduring access to affordable energy, and general peace and happiness? Maybe…
President Rousseff welcomed the emphasis the U.S. National Space Policy has placed on international cooperation and expressed her wish to expand the dialogue with the United States bearing in mind the guidelines of the Brazilian space policies, aimed at technological capacity building and the commercial use of infrastructure and technology.
Space Politics speculates the “commercial use of infrastructure and technology” words regard using Brazil as a launch site, something they’ve had little success with.
In this context, they welcomed the signing of a new bilateral Framework Agreement on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and expressed their desire to commence negotiations of a new agreement to protect launching operation technologies.
While an equatorial launch site is desirable, what does it mean to “protect launching operation technologies”? I’m not sure, but it’s definitely something other than the China-Hughes relationship, where technology was transferred one way—from the U.S. to China, of course—for the purpose of allowing more money to be made.
Furthermore, they affirmed the commitment of their countries to security in space and decided to initiate a dialogue in that area. They also instructed the appropriate agencies in the two countries to discuss the establishment of a Brazil – United States. Working Group on satellite-based earth observations, environmental monitoring, precipitation measurement, and natural disaster mitigation and response that would facilitate future dialogue and cooperation in these fields.
While talk is alleged to be cheap, assuming a small army of talkers and the traditional bill-payer, the costs add up. Not that this whole endeavor might not be worth it, depending. For example, space cooperation with Brazil might be along the lines of Turkey getting an astronaut on the space shuttle. You know: that prestige thing.
Conventional wisdom surrounding the President’s Brazil trip holds that the whole thing is fundamentally focused on oil; that is, having Brazil find and pump more so we can buy from them.
Is it too late to get a Brazilian on the shuttle?