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Brazil's president Bolsonaro hails upcoming launch of Chinese-Brazilian satellite

Christian Fernsby |
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro hailed the upcoming launch of Sino-Brazilian satellite CBERS-4A from a base in Taiyuan, capital city of northern China's Shanxi province.

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"This coming 20th (of December), the CBERS-4A satellite, as well as the Floripasat nanosatellite, will be launched from China for diverse surveillance purposes," Bolsonaro said via Twitter.

The CBERS-4A, built in part with Brazilian technology, "is part of a cooperation agreement with China dating from 1988," the president added.

Floripasat is a miniaturized satellite, known as a CubeSat, which was developed by Brazil's Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), Bolsonaro said.

Jointly built by Brazil's National Space Research Institute (INPE) and the Chinese Academy of Space Technology (CAST), the CBERS-4A arrived at the Taiyuan base on Nov. 5. It is the sixth satellite developed as part of the CBERS program, signed by the two governments in the late 1980s.

The satellite is programed to make 14 orbits daily around the planet, mainly to monitor deforestation and fires in the Amazon rainforest, and to supply agricultural data.

According to the INPE, the CBERS-4A will orbit at a lower altitude than the currently-functioning CBERS-4, so it can generate higher-resolution images.

In 2004, the CBERS program initiated an open-data policy, allowing research institutions, universities and private-sector companies to benefit from the free use of images captured by the satellite.

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