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September 30, 2010 Vol. 3, Issue 9


Three members of the Brazilian Aerospace Agency attended “Foundations of Aerospace at NASA” at Kennedy Space Center.

As the Academy strengthens its ties with international partners through the International Project Management Committee, one area of interest for NASA and its partner agencies is cross-participation in training courses. Given that the majority of NASA missions include some international partner involvement, there’s a strong case for training with colleagues at other space agencies who might be future project team members. “When we work together, we learn together,” said Academy Director Dr. Ed Hoffman.

The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), which has collaborated with NASA on missions ranging from Aqua to the International Space Station, sent three of its employees to the Kennedy Space Center for two weeks in August to attend “Foundations of Aerospace at NASA,” the first course in the Academy’s core curriculum.

“Foundations” provides a broad overview of the agency’s strategic goals and objectives, governance model, policies, organizational structure, facilities, and key programs and projects. The course also provides technical training in the basics of NASA’s aerospace mission and systems and the fundamentals of aeronautics, as well as skills training in communications and working as a team member at NASA.

“We don’t have a course like this,” said Joao Jose S. Tavares, coordinator of AEB’s launch center facilities. Tavares, a former officer in the Brazilian Air Force, came to the Foundations course “to see the way the NASA organization works.”

“The opportunity to visit the Kennedy Space Center is unbeatable,” said Ricardo Amaral Contaifer, head of the Division of Space Politics and Strategic Investments.

Carlos Eduardo Q. Vaz, Head of Division of Satellite Applications and Developments at AEB, agreed with Contaifer. Vaz, who had studied in the United States as an exchange student at a high school near St. Louis, was the only one of the three who had previously visited the United States. He expected that his experience at the Foundations course would benefit AEB’s work “both with NASA and with our programs at home.”

Learn more about “Foundations of Aerospace at NASA.”

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