Written by Staff Writer Claudia Achiáz, CNN
Brazil has long dreamed of sending the world’s first deep-space or an astronaut to the moon. In its quest to find new frontiers in space, the country has turned to another ambitious technology: Space technology.
SpaceX, the U.S. space company run by Elon Musk, has recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Brazil on developing a “hyperloop” transportation technology. The company proposes a method of transportation that moves people and goods at speeds exceeding 800 kilometers (497 miles) per hour — several times faster than current intercity highways.
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“Hyperloop is an easy and attractive proposition for commercialization,” said Rodrigo Villela, director general of Brazil’s federal institute of space technology (INPE).
According to Villela, the country is interested in the technology because of the challenges faced by Brazilians who live in regions that are difficult to reach by conventional methods.
“Our challenge as a country is to make use of our natural resources,” he said. “Hyperloop technology can solve all problems that arise for me and my country.”
The designation for
(brazil4ways) proposed by Brazil for orbiting an ultra-light launcher over a wide zone, something like an Orbital ATK X-37B, to launch ultra-light payloads. Credit: BYISUSE
Through partnerships with countries around the world, Brazil is also interested in Hyperloop. In April, Brazil’s Space Agency in partnership with Airbus, de-orbited a Hyperloop trial vehicle.
Hyperloop is not the only transportation system that the country is interested in. “We have been speaking to the people who want to do similar things with drones and robots,” Villela said.
Brazil has already sent some drones on missions. Earlier this year, NASA sponsored a two-week flight for Brazil’s Telespazio, a company that manufactures unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
These drones, which the country has described as “space helicopters,” were on a mission to protect its natural regions — firstly protecting the Amazon rainforest and secondly the Rio de Janeiro Olympic site. The state of Minas Gerais also opened in July a drone test site as part of its environment and transportation plan.
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Brazil has a history of technological development. In the early 20th century, the country created some of the earliest robots, accelerators and robots of their kind.
The Brazilian government has followed this tradition by developing UAVs for commercial use. UAVs are also commonly employed for surveillance and, increasingly, they also deal with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that are using drones.
“There are security issues with drones as they could blow up or fall into rivers,” said Villela. “We are studying the problem. With a long battery life and perishable batteries we think this problem will be solved.”
Brazil has also been placing a greater emphasis on exploring new technologies such as water desalination and mineral mining. “We consider these as unconventional sectors because these sectors lack the technology we have developed ourselves,” said Villela.
Brazil is forging new collaborations with space agencies, also using space tourism as part of its marketing campaign to attract new research and development partnerships. In June, the country hosted the 2018 World Satellite Applications Conference (WOSAC) in Sao Paulo.
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In addition to a number of sessions, the event showcased aerospace and hi-tech companies from across the world, who present the technologies and space applications they are working on.
One of the companies that attended WOSAC was NanoRacks , an American space technology company. “Our mission is to make it as easy as possible for private companies to become space exploration companies,” said Paul Beesley, the firm’s vice president.
“NanoRacks is one of the companies working on the technology to safely house three to seven astronauts on a commercial spacecraft in space.”
Beesley said that the company is also working with Brazil’s Space Agency to try and develop software for the same purpose. NanoRacks is currently developing commercial floating laboratories. These are on top of ships, where they can simulate the conditions and maximize the amount of supplies and laboratory equipment you would be able to store in space.
The potential of artificial gravity
Brazil has also been developing artificial gravity as a means of helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the country’s aluminum production, and other industries, said Beesley.
“If we have enough carbon dioxide, the CO2 that exists in the atmosphere freezes into glass,” he said. “We are trying to make these devices extremely dense and with lower energy consumption.”
“We can get a better results with artificial gravity. The