2021-02-28

Brazil will launch its first self-developed satellite to focus on the destruction of tropical rainforests

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Brazil will launch its first self-developed satellite to focus on the destruction of tropical rainforests

Amazonia-1 will be launched on Sunday. If all goes well, Brazil will become one of the 20th countries that can design, produce, launch and operate satellites. The mission of this satellite is to provide researchers with data updates on deforestation and agricultural activities in the world’s largest tropical rain forest.

Amazonia-1 is regarded as a milestone in Brazil. The development of the satellite began as early as 2008. The development process involved more than a dozen Brazilian companies with a total investment of 60 million U.S. dollars. Although this is a lot of money, mission planners say it is about one-sixth of the cost of importing a ready-made satellite from outside Brazil.

Amazonia-1 is the first of three satellites intended to monitor the Amazon rainforest to be built by the Brazilian National Institute of Space Research. All satellites in the future will use the same manufacturing platform. The satellite is 2.5 meters long and weighs 640 kilograms.

There are 6 kilometers of cables and three wide-angle cameras inside the Amazonia-1 structure, which can detect any deforestation area larger than 4 football fields. The satellite was originally planned to be launched in 2018, but due to lack of funds, the operator delayed the components and launch. Putting a satellite into orbit is not a complete guarantee, because Brazil has a history of satellite launches. As early as 2003, when trying to launch a satellite, the rocket exploded. Not only did it not complete the launch, it also killed 21 people.