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Thursday, June 18, 1998 Published at 07:41 GMT 08:41 UK

World: Americas

Brazil chooses its first astronaut

Brazil has chosen its first astronaut - Marcos Pontes, a thirty-five year old Air Force pilot.

His first mission is planned for the year 2000, on board the international space station to be built by a sixteen-nation consortium.

He'll spend the next two years training at NASA headquarters in Huston.

If he passes all the tests, he'll head for space and eventually form part of the station's rotating crew.

Brazil is the only developing nation taking part in building the multi-billion dollar space station.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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