China and Brazil plan to jointly develop new earth resource satellites and continue to promote the construction of the BRICS Remote Sensing Constellation, showing broad prospects for aerospace cooperation, experts from the two countries said at the China-Brazil Space Cooperation Symposium held by the Space Administration National Assembly of China (CNSA) in Beijing on Monday.
Over the past 30 years, China and Brazil have achieved fruitful results in the Sino-Brazilian Earth Resources Satellite (CBERS) program. Ma Shijun, manager of the initiative, recalled that, in 1988, the two countries signed an agreement to jointly develop the CBERS project, sharing the cost and developing their systems separately. Both sides had advantages and were highly complementary, Ma said.
In 1999, the first China-Brazil earth resources satellite was successfully launched, giving China its first broadcast-type remote sensing satellite. It was the first developed jointly by China with another country and was classified as one of the top ten scientific and technological advances of the year by the Asian country.
The two countries have since developed six earth resource satellites, and the CBERS-4 and CBERS-4A satellites are working well in orbit. The data has served the social and economic development of both nations and is widely used in the areas of natural resources, agriculture, forestry, geology, water resources, urban planning and environmental protection.
Satellites have also helped monitor global disasters such as wildfires, floods, earthquakes and tsunamis. The data is provided free of charge to developing countries.
José Raimundo Coelho, former president of the Brazilian Space Agency, who participated in the symposium, was recently awarded the Friendship Award by the Chinese government in recognition of his outstanding contribution to promoting aerospace cooperation between China and Brazil. CBERS has served Brazil’s needs in exploring and monitoring natural resources, he said, adding that Sino-Brazilian aerospace cooperation will become increasingly closer.