Brazil and China’s EO Satellite and Smallsats Driven into Orbit

Artistic rendition of the CBERS-4A satellite on-orbit.

An Earth Observation (EO) satellite that was jointly developed by China and Brazil was launched into space on Friday, December 20, under a bilateral program that is seen as a template for broader cooperation among BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nations.

The China-Brazil Earth Resource Satellite 4A was launched via a Long March 4B rocket from the northern Chinese province of Shanxi, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

This satellite was the sixth developed under the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite (CBERS) program that began in 1988. The satellites are designed for EO from orbit for non-military use. The CBERS 4A will support the Brazilian government’s monitoring of the Amazon rainforest and changes in the country’s environment, according to Xinhua.

An additional eight satellites were also placed into orbit by the same rocket, including a wide-range, multi-spectral, remote-sensing smallsat donated to Ethiopia.

The BRICS nations have been in talks on a framework agreement to create a constellation of satellites for Earth remote-sensing and to enable the sharing of data obtained by each others’ satellites. Each country will provide one to two satellites to the constellation, according to the China National Space Administration. The CBERS satellites would be included in the constellation program.

Currently, only South Africa in the BRICS bloc does not have satellites of its own on-orbit.

Article source: NDTV

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