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CBERS 4A is the sixth in a series of Earth observation satellites developed by the two countries, and it joins CBERS 4 in orbit, still operating after its launch in 2014. The collaborative CBERS, or China-Brazil Earth Resource Satellite, program began in 1988 and the first CBERS satellite launched in 1999.

The 3,814-pound (1,730-kilogram) CBERS 4A satellite was built and launched in China. Two of its three Earth-imaging instruments were supplied by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, known by the acronym INPE.

According to INPE, responsibility for the CBERS 4A mission is shared equally by Brazil and China. INPE said Brazil’s investment in the mission totaled 175 Brazilian reals, or about $43 million.

CBERS 4A’s highest-resolution instrument, built in China, will produce images with a resolution as good as 2 meters, or about 6.6 feet. The Brazilian cameras will see over wider swaths of territory.

The Brazilian government said CBERS 4A — designed for a five-year mission — will extend the joint Earth-imaging satellite program’s benefits in environmental monitoring, land resource surveys, and geo-information services, particularly in regions like the Amazon rainforest. The new satellite launched Dec. 20, operating in tandem with the CBERS 4 spacecraft launched in 2014, will double the number of images available to users, INPE said.

Alternate Names

  • 44883
  • China Brazil Earth Resources Satellite

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2019-12-20
Launch Vehicle: Long March 4B
Launch Site: Taiyuan, Peoples Republic of China

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (International)


  • Earth Science

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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