Today, September 18, will see the launch of the Chinese-Brazilian Earth Resources Satellite CBERS-2B, from the Satellite Launch Center in Taiyuan, the capital of China's Shanxi Province, south of Beijing. The two countries have been jointly developing the program since 1988.
The CBERS-2B was assembled at Brazil's INPE's (National Institute of Space Researches) laboratories, in Sao Jose dos Campos, in the interior of São Paulo state and was shipped to China by airplane in April. Â
According to the press office at the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology, images from CBERS satellites are used across the country for forestry monitoring and agricultural support.
Since April 2004, more than 350,000 CBERS images have been distributed to over 5,000 Brazilian institutions. In China, more than 200,000 images have been distributed, which are mostly used by the Chinese Ministry of Land and Natural Resources.
Brazil and China are also distributing, free of charge, CBERS images to neighboring countries, and promoting technical training activities for their use. Beginning in 2008, CBERS images should be distributed to countries in Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
The CBERS-2B is the third Chinese-Brazilian satellite to be launched. The CBERS-1 was launched in 1999 and operated until 2003, when the CBERS-2 was launched.
It remains operational until this day. Also forecasted are at least two more technologically advanced satellites in the series: the CBERS-3, to be launched in 2010, and the CBERS-4, in 2013.
The Brazilian minister of Science and Technology, Sérgio Machado Rezende, will attend the launch, accompanied by Brazilian and Chinese diplomats and government officials in the space field.
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