On February 9, the SCD-1 (Data Collecting Satellite) complete 21 years in orbit. First satellite developed by National Institute for Space Research (INPE), the SCD-1 maintains the relay important information to the weather forecast and monitoring of watersheds, among other applications.
Though with limitations, the satellite still operational over two decades after its release by the U.S. Pegasus rocket in 1993. At the time, the first Brazilian satellite had expected only one year of life. To INPE, the longevity of the SCD-1 proves the competence of their engineering groups, who designed the equipment, and also the teams that maintains its operation in the screening and satellite control in the institute.
The launch of the SCD-1 put Brazil among the nations that effectively dominate the full cycle of a space mission from its inception until the end of its operation in orbit. Also marked the beginning of the operation of the Brazilian Data Collecting System, which provides information for national governmental agencies and the private sector to develop research and applications in different areas such as weather and climate forecasting, study of atmospheric chemistry, pollution control and assessment of renewable energy potential.
Besides pioneering SCD-1, the system integrates data collection SCD-2 satellite, launched in 1998.