The Brazilian program suffered a huge setback in August 2003 when an explosion destroyed a Satellite Launch Vehicle (VLS) rocket as it stood on the launch pad in Alcântara in the northern state of Maranhão, Brazil. Twenty-one people were killed that day, including many of the leading scientists and project engineers, after one of the rocket's first stage motors accidentally ignited.
Following major revisions to the design of the VLS, the first test in 2012 will see only the triggering of the first two bottom stages of propellant, 2013 should see a full (though still experimental) launch with full load, and ultimately from 2014 Brazil should have the capability to put a satellite into orbit, according to Himilcon Carvalho, Director of Space Policy, AEB.
However, Brazil currently has no future plans for Space exploration or for the manufacture of spacecraft. Any scientific experiments that need to be conducted in Space will be sent through missions from other countries.