Grats to Nytemare, load off your mind.
Brazil can probably recapitulate all of the science, and almost all of the simulations, for a space program. But right now those physics phds can get way more $$ from the local big banks setting up the same stuff wall street has recently done. USA ran as high as 4% of the gov during the moon race, but generally below 1% since. It wasn't just a drag on the economy from too much military spending, rather it was research and development. Necessary and how do you tell what the benefits are? (especially if focused on ultra short term only).
What i see as the problem here in Brazil is how science and research spending here makes absolute zero sense.
We have two government organizations that sponsor prospective Masters and Doctorate students: CAPES and CNPq. Both pay a pretty piss poor amount of money per month to the students, and impose some pretty serious restrictions. For example, they can't teach while they receive the money. Its considered that they are in exclusive dedication to the research program and therefore can't have obligations outside of the program. But what they pay is PITIFUL, really, you can't live on that alone. So you have future doctors and masters of sciences working entry level jobs or teaching high school biology under wraps just to keep themselves afloat while they finish the program.
Meanwhile, every promising research student in Brazil is quickly approached by members of universities overseas, from USA to Europe and Asia, who offer much much much better opportunities for them, with free housing of actual good quality, a monthly income that affords them a decent standard of living, and in some cases, a contract promising them a position to teach in the University at the end of the program.
So, what ends up happening is, almost EVERYONE that actually has a research that shows promise quickly leaves Brazil, and many, maybe even most of them, never come back to live here again. Job prospects, research prospects, the money, the standard of living, EVERYTHING is better, and the government isn't doing fuck all to keep all of these very valuable brains inside Brazil.
It's a massive crisis. To make matters worse, CAPES and CNPq demand that all graduate students that are sponsored by them publish a number of papers per year, as well as maintaining a given rating on their papers.
Well... Since many don't really have the time to actually publish those papers because the actually important research takes so long, and because the research is going to take a very long time to actually produce publishable results, what ends up happening is the co-signing of papers.
Graduate Student A has a paper they'll be publishing, and they know Students B and C. He knows B and C will be publishing soon. They all talk it out and agree that all three of them will sign together on every one of the papers. So now, as far as CAPES and CNPq knows, they all published 3 papers each, and doesn't rescind their sponsorship.
Another consequence of this utterly dumb system is papers of pitifully poor quality are produced to meet the quota. It's bad, it's really really bad.
But i digress.
This is only ONE symptom of a much, MUCH larger issue with education in Brazil...
The fact is, we don't really have one. On most of the country, education is from non-existent to very poor. Only in major cities and capitals you have public education that goes from mediocre to actually very good, but mediocrity is the rule and the very good schools end up as hotly contested as private schools and you end up with rich kids that could pay for private education "stealing" the opportunities away from poorer students.
I work with people in a poor area of my city... I see many more illiterate people in their 20's and 30's than the government statistics would seem to indicate. Some of them can actually read, but don't. They don't read books, magazines, newspapers... They don't read anything, and only sign their names. The result is, they are literate as far as making a sound from written symbols is concerned and using Whatsapp and Tinder, but they don't understand shit. They're functionally illiterate, and the amount of functionally iliterate people here is mind bogglingly high.
A space program wouldn't fix anything. If anything, it'd make things worse. Brazil needs a reform from the ground up. People that live here know this, but most of the international community doesn't.
Our universities are good, but some, not all of them, and they serve a very, VERY small number of the population, mostly those who can afford the private education needed to score high enough to actually get in. And when they graduate, they leave the country, or stay for 2 to 8 years pursuing graduate degrees and THEN leave the country. Meanwhile, elementary, middle and high-school education continues to be shit.
Sanitation is shit. Public transport is shit. Police is shit. Politicians are shit. EVERYTHING.
Could Brazil whip up a space program out of the ass and have it done in 10 years if someone really wanted it? Yeah, we probably could, yeah. Brazil is a large economy, after all. It's also a large country, and funds would have to be diverted from other important things, but they already are, so it wouldn't make much of a difference.
It also wouldn't help much of anything, really. We need reforms from the ground up, we need infrastructure, sanitation, and we need to develop the interior, that still lives more or less in the 1900's, if not the 1800's. A nation can't really become relevant if 90+% of its territory is more or less a shithole that nobody cares about and produces nothing of value whatsoever. We also need to grow out of being a granary state, we rely too much on agriculture, on selling meat and eggs. We have to take raw materials and produce resources, and right now, we don't.
We export our national riches and get a living wage off of it that goes straight to the pockets of the corrupt, and is never spent on actually making the country better.
But honestly, we're the ones to blame. Brazilians don't really get angry enough at the government. Shit like what's happening here goes on in the US of A and you'll have a government takedown by force in no time, blood would flow and order restored. But here we're all about peaceful protests, we never had a bloody civil war, hell, we barely even had any wars at all. The ones we did have over here we were vastly superior, like the Paraguay War or War of the Triple Alliance, and the troops we sent to WW1 and WW2 were very small dettachments if compared to what other countries sent, and lost. And our coast never saw much action at all, just a few ships sunk by nazi U-Boats and not much of anything else of note.
The problem lies within Brazilian culture, and until that changes, and culture takes a long long time to do so, we're not really going to fare much better than we have so far. Japan is what it is because of the culture of its people. Same as China and India. They were all shitholes not that long ago but look at them now. People love to put Brazil in the same bin as China and India, but i feel like we're very very far from that still, even if India has as many shitholes and many of the same problems as Brazil.