CBERS-4A: New China-Brazil earth resource satellite launched into space

The China-Brazil Earth Resource Satellite-4A (CBERS-4A), a new satellite jointly developed by China and Brazil as part of a bilateral programme, was recently sent into space, thus further pushes forward the aerospace cooperation between two countries. It was launched on a Long March-4B carrier from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Shanxi Province of China. The same rocket also put into orbits another 8 satellites, including a wide-range multispectral remote-sensing microsatellite donated to Ethiopia (which is also Ethiopia’s first satellite).

About China-Brazil Earth Resource Satellite-4A (CBERS-4A)

CBERS-4A is equipped with 3 optical payloads:- a wide-range panchromatic multispectral camera developed by China, and a wide-field imager and a multispectral camera developed by Brazil. It will obtain global optical remote-sensing data and will also support Brazilian government’s to monitor Amazon rainforest and changes in country’s environment.

It will also be used in fields such as earth resource monitoring, agriculture, environmental protection, meteorology, surveying and mapping, and serve Brazil and more developing countries. It can also provide services for African, Latin American and Asian countries.

The satellite was jointly developed by China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) and National Institute for Space Research (NISR) of Brazil, while the carrier rocket was developed by Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology.

Background: CBERS-4A will replace CBERS-4 (which was launched in 2014), to improve the resolution of remote-sensing data. The satellite is 6th satellite under earth resource satellite cooperation program between two countries that began in 1988. The satellites designed under program are for Earth observation from orbit for non-military use and first such earth research satellite was launched from China in 1999.

NOTE: The China and Brazil bilateral programme is also seen as a template for broader cooperation among both countries as well as Russia, India and South Africa (i.e. BRICS nation overall). Currently, only South Africa in BRICS bloc does not have satellites of its own.

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