The U.S. signed an agreement that would allow American rocket companies to operate from Brazil, possibly unlocking a operations base that has sat dormant for many years, the State Department said Tuesday.
An old rocket complex near Brazil's Atlantic coast, called Alcantara, sits about 140 miles south of the Earth's equator, making it a prime location for launching satellites, a $260 billion business. That's because missions from the equator region often require less fuel.
"After 20 years of talks we are finalizing a technology safeguards agreement to allow U.S. companies to conduct space launches from Brazil," President Donald Trump said Tuesday at a press conference with Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro. "Because of the location, tremendous amounts of money would be saved."