Brazil and China plan to sell satellite images to other countries

19 January 2006

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 19 Jan – Brazil and China are planning to sell images from their satellites to other countries, for expected joint revenues of up to US$20 million per year, officials said Wednesday.

Technical teams from both countries are currently negotiating to set up a legal mechanism which will make it possible to sell the satellite images, the director of Brazil’s National Space Research Institute (Inpe), Gilberto Câmara said.

Câmara said that the cooperation program between China and Brazil would create great business opportunities on the international market.

The countries’ joint space program, which was set up in July 1988, has already launched two CBERS (China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite) satellites.

The satellites where assembled in Brazil by a team of Chinese and Brazilian researchers and were launched from China’s Taiyuan base through use of the Chinese Long March 4B rocket.

With the launch of CBERS 2, at the end of 2004, the two countries increased the number of satellite images they were generating in order to fulfill market demand.

The total cost of the two satellites was US$300 million for development of the project, construction of infrastructures on earth, assembly and launch.

The Chinese-Brazilian space cooperation program includes the launch of a further two satellites at a cost of US$200 million by 2007.

The program makes it possible for Brazil to monitor deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, Cãmara said.

The two satellites also make it possible to gather data to research into meteorology, hydrology and the chemistry of the earth’s atmosphere, Câmara added. (macauhub)