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Brazilian parliament approves joint satellite mission

Reporter: Paulo Cabral 丨 CCTV.com

09-16-2016 12:22 BJT

Brazil's Parliament has recently given the go-ahead for construction of a sixth satellite. This is part of a Brazilian-Chinese partnership established almost 30 years ago.

In December 2014 a Chinese rocket soared into space with the observation satellite, CBERS4? a joint mission by the China Brasil Earth-Resources Satellite program-established in 1988.

In a couple of years the sixth satellite in the series - the CBERS4A - is scheduled for liftoff.

Sometime next year engineers will assemble it in the integration lab of Brazil's National Space Research institute for testing. It will then be transported to China's Taiyuan base for launch. That's scheduled for September 2018.

Brazil's program coordinator says without the CBER's partnership Brazil wouldn't have its own earth imaging resources.

"Of course it's fine to buy images from satellites of other countries, but we can't be sure these will always be available to us. So, it's very important to have the ability to develop, launch and control our own satellites," said Antonio Carlos Pereira, head of CBERS Program in Brazil.

Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world with vast regions still underpopulated and of difficult access, like the Amazon jungle. So, images from satellites are essential to monitor the territory.

Like its predecessors, the CBERS4A willmonitor Brazil's natural resources and environment.

 "For example, the Amazon Region, it's the biggest tropical forest in the world and it's been under deforestation for a long time now. Every year we do the whole mapping of the deforestation. It's very important for the government to monitor and to make the deforestation go down," said Joao Soares, CBERS application coordinator.

Under discussion the construction of two more satellites - CBERS 5 and 6 - for possible launch sometime in the next six years.

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