Tech Breakdown: How will space cooperation benefit BRICS countries?
By Guo Meiping
This May, the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) launched a new space cooperation committee, opening a new chapter in the remote sensing satellite observation and data sharing fields.
The new committee comprises space agencies of the BRICS countries, including the Brazilian Space Agency, Russia's Roscosmos, the Indian Space Research Organization, the China National Space Administration, and the South African National Space Agency.
Space cooperation among BRICS countries has been continuously carried out in recent years. In August 2021, space agencies of the five countries signed an agreement on the Cooperation on BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation.
This agreement enabled BRICS space agencies to jointly build a virtual constellation of remote sensing satellites, which works as a data-sharing mechanism. This mechanism can help the five space agencies meet everyday challenges such as climate change, disasters, and environmental protection.
The constellation is made up of six existing satellites of the BRICS countries. The Gaofen-6 and Ziyuan III 02, both developed by China; CBERS-4, jointly developed by Brazil and China; a Kanopus-V type, developed by Russia; and Resourcesat-2 and 2A, both developed by India.
Each country has a ground receiving station. China's ground station for the constellation was established on April 24, China's Space Day, in south China's Hainan Province.
According to the China National Space Administration, the constellation was designed to better serve the socio-economic development of BRICS countries, provide better access to shared sensing satellite data among the five countries and improve the processing capacity of the data. The constellation will also help build high-quality partnerships among BRICS countries.
China has been making great achievements in space exploration and research during the past years, and the country has never stopped putting efforts into international space cooperation.