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China, Brazil work on prototype of earth resources satellites

Scientists from China and Brazil have begun work on prototypes of advanced earth resources satellites, the China Space Science and Technology Group announced.

The overall development plan for satellites 02B, 03 and 04 of Sino-Brazilian Earth Resource Satellites have been approved, said the company.

Sun Laiyan, director general of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), announced last October that China and Brazil would work together to develop and launch the three earth resource satellites in the coming few years.

The satellites will be used to gather information on the Earth’s environment, agriculture, urban development planning and water pollution, acknowledged Sun. Satellite 02B will be similar to the two satellites the two countries developed previously.

China launched the earlier satellites, satellite 01 and 02, into preset orbits in 1999 and 2003 atop Chinese-made Long March 4B rockets.

Satellite 01, which was in orbit for approximately four years, nearly twice as much as its designed life span, has been replaced with Satellite 02.

Space administrations from the two nations agreed to launch an extra satellite, Satellite 02B, in 2006 to replace Satellite O2, which also has a designed life span of two years.