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China, Brazil deepen aerospace cooperation

Updated: Dec 20,2019 19:33    Xinhua

TAIYUAN — China and Brazil will continue to develop more satellites together and deepen aerospace cooperation, said Chinese and Brazilian officials after a new satellite jointly produced by the two countries was sent into space on Dec 20.

The launch of the China-Brazil Earth Resource Satellite-4A (CBERS-4A) also marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Brazil.

The two countries will expand the application of the CBERS satellite data in their own countries and those participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, said Wu Yanhua, deputy director of the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

China and Brazil have devised a 10-year plan to collaborate in developing remote-sensing, meteorological and communication satellites. The cooperation could also be expanded to deep space exploration, lunar exploration, manned space and aerospace education, said Wu.

In 1988, the two countries signed an agreement to start the China-Brazil earth resource satellite program. They shared the costs and separately developed its systems. Both sides brought different advantages to the table and were highly complementary.

In 1999, the first China-Brazil earth resource satellite was successfully launched, giving each country their first transmission-type remote-sensing satellite. It was rated one of the top 10 scientific and technological advances of the year in China.

It was also the first satellite jointly developed by China and another country, and was a model for space technology cooperation among developing countries.

The partnership has lasted more than 30 years. The two countries have sent six satellites into space, and the resolution of the images has gradually improved.

The China-Brazil earth resource satellites have provided more than 6 million images to users in the two countries, and the data have been widely used in agriculture, forestry, water conservation, land and resources, environmental protection, and disaster prevention and mitigation, helping the Brazilian government monitor the Amazon rainforest and the country's environmental changes, according to the CNSA.

The remote-sensing data are also provided to developing countries for free, and have helped monitor disasters such as forest fires in Australia, floods in Pakistan, and an earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

China has also helped train Brazilian personnel, and scientists and technologists of the two countries have conducted many exchanges over the past 30 years.

"The space cooperation between China and Brazil has been very successful, and sets a good example for space cooperation among developing countries," Wu said.

Brazilian Minister of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication Marcos Cesar Pontes said the cooperation has contributed to international economic and social development.