A group of scientists belonging to leading Brazilian institutions plans on collaborating with the private sector to launch the country's first mission to the moon which should take place no later than 2020: a nanosatellite that will conduct scientific experiments.
The objective behind Garatéa-L, as the satellite is called, is to conduct research on life in outer space.
The scientists plan on taking advantage of one of the most promising kinds of equipment in terms of space exploration.
While traditional contraptions weigh over 3 tons, nanosatellites, which are also called cubesats, are far more compact and much cheaper, weighing less than 8 kilos.
The project brings together researchers from prominent Brazilian space institutions, such as Inpe (National Institution for Space Research), ITA (Institute of Aeronautical Technology), USP (University of São Paulo), LNLS (National Laboratory for Synchrotron Light), the Mauá Institute of Technology and PUC-RS (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul).
The mission will cost R$ 35 million (US$ 10.3 million), however, fundraising has not yet begun and is one of the mission's main obstacles.
There has never been a lack of initiatives to explore deep space during the 50-plus years Brazil's space program has been around, but the initiatives would typically run into budgetary problems.
Thus, the team of researchers decided to seek for alternative forms of fundraising while also requesting funds from research development agencies.
Their goal is to collect private funds not only through sponsorships, but through royalties, rights of use and even possible patents regarding the knowledge they obtain as well.
The mission name comes from the Tupi-Guarani languages. "Garatéa" means "to search for life". The "L" was added to capture the lunar nature of the mission.
Quelle: Folha de S.Paulo