Much of Brazil is filled with dense rainforests that are extremely important to our planet’s environment. Many feel that clearing the Amazon rainforest is damaging the entire world, and efforts are being made to protect it. Brazil is set to launch its first domestically built satellite known as Amazonia-1, and the entire satellite has been developed within the country.
Designated Amazonia-1 To launch On Sunday, if everything happens unimpeded, Brazil will become one of about 20 countries that have designed, produced, launched and operated a satellite. The satellite’s mission is to provide researchers with frequent updates on deforestation and agricultural activity in the world’s largest rainforest.
Amazonia-1 is a milestone for Brazil. Development of the satellite began in 2008. More than a dozen Brazilian companies have participated in the development of the satellite, with a total investment of $ 60 million. While that’s a large sum of money, mission planners say it represents about a sixth of what it would have cost to import a satellite ready for use from outside Brazil.
Amazonia-1 is the first of three satellites aimed at monitoring the Amazon rainforest that the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research intends to build. All future satellites will use the same manufacturing platform. The satellite is 2.5 meters long and weighs 640 kilograms.
Within its hull are six kilometers of cable and three wide-angle cameras that can detect any area of deforestation greater than four soccer fields. The satellite was initially scheduled to be launched in 2018, but lack of funding has delayed components and its launch. A satellite cannot be guaranteed to enter orbit. Brazil has had a problematic history with satellite launches. In 2003, while trying to launch a satellite, a missile exploded, killing 21 people.