On 9 December a Brazillian rocket will blast off from Natal, in Rio Grande
do Norte State (RN), Brazil, with a special tribute message to all
volunteers. Inspired by Neil Armstrong, the message reads “Voluntário: um
pequeno gesto do homem, uma grande contribuição para a humanidade,” meaning,
Volunteer: a tiny human gesture, an important contribution to humanity. The
rocket launch will be a symbolic act in the launch of the United Nations
International Year of Volunteers (IYV) 2001.

A partnership between the Natal Volunteer Centre and the Instituto
Aeroespacial (IAE), the Centro Técnico Aeroespacial (CTA), the Centro de
Lançamento Barreira do Inferno (CLBI) and the Brazillian space agency, made
it possible to inscribe the volunteer message on the rocket.

The launch of the rocket on 9 December, will be between 9h and 12h AM, at
Barreira do Inferno, in Natal (RN), with the presence of several key
representatives from the private sector.

This event is set to occur close to the global celebrations of International
Volunteer Day on 5 December, as well as the kick off day for the
International Year of Volunteers 2001. Individuals, organizations,
companies and governments from all over the world participate in workshops,
events, shows and volunteer activities.

Volunteer promotion and recognition will gain new dimensions worldwide
following the designation of 2001 as the International Year of Volunteers by
the UN General Assembly. As countries implement volunteer activities, the
UN recognizes the importance of the volunteer effort for the improvement of
the quality of life in the world.

Sonda III

Sonda III is a rocket that has been orbiting into space for more than 20
years. It is being used by Brazillian and foreign scientists in cooperation
with its partners such as the German DLR, the Max Plank Institute, and the
US Air Force Geophysic Laboratory (AFG). The rocket will carry a sub-orbital
platform (PSO) and the launch will represent an advancement for research in
micro-gravity. This research is especially useful for the continual
construction of the largest space laboratory in the world.

Natal Voluntários (Natal Volunteers)

Natal Voluntários is an NGO, whose objectives include raising awareness and
promoting citizenship and solidarity for the imporvement of life in Rio
Grande do Norte state. Natal Voluntários acts as coordinator between
different sectors of society.


To find out more information please contact:

Natal Voluntários

Mônica Mac Dowell ou Alexandre Mac Dowell

Fone: (84) 211-1527 fax: (84) 211-5624

E-mail: centro@natalvoluntarios.org.br