Friday, December 5, 2014

Brazil to launch new satellite to track deforestation

The New Age (South Africa): Brazil will launch a satellite from China Sunday to keep an eye in the sky on deforestation in the Amazon, the National Space Agency (Inpe) said Thursday. An agency spokesman said the launch of the Cbers-4 satellite was scheduled for 0326 GMT December from Tayuan, China, about 750 kilometers (460 miles) southwest of Beijing.

Brazil and China will share the $30 million cost of sending the two-ton satellite into a 778-kilometer high orbit, the spokesman added.Both countries participated in the development of the satellite, which has four cameras in its payload module. The launch comes a year after its predecessor satellite failed to enter orbit because of a fault with the launch vehicle, China's Long March 4B.

Cbers, standing for China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite, will allow Brazil to keep a close watch from space on deforestation in the Amazon, the world's largest tropical rain forest, as well as administer agriculture and monitor livestock movement. Brazil and China began space cooperation in 1988 and Cbers 1 was launched in 1999, with a second satellite in 2003 and a third in 2007...

A line drawing of the Cbers-1 satellite, public domain

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