China to launch Chinese-Brazilian satellite CBERS-3

3 December 2013

The new satellite built by Brazil in partnership with China is due Monday to be launched into orbit on boar a 45-metre Chang Zhen 4B Chinese rocket, the Brazilian press reported.

Costing US$250 million split equally between the two countries, the satellite, known as CBERS-3 and the launch of which is taking place three years after it was initially scheduled to, will be positioned 778 kilometres above the ground and will have four cameras to take pictures of the Earth’s surface, two of which were built by Brazil and two by China, with different resolutions and spectral characteristics.

“They are extremely high-tech cameras, which make significant technological leap in comparison to previous satellites,” said the director of the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research.

One of the Brazilian cameras, known as MuxCam, will observe a tract of land 120 kilometres wide, and can take a digital photograph of the entire surface of the planet in 26 days, with a resolution of 20 metres.

The other, known as WFI, has a lower resolution (64 metres), but will be able to take a single photograph of a larger tract of land (866 kilometres), which means it can home in on any part of the Earth every five days.

According to the Brazilian press, there are big expectations for the launch as a failure could deal an almost fatal blow to the already fragile Brazilian space programme. (macauhub)

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