The first high-definition earth resources satellite co-developed by China and Brazil began providing services for customers in the two countries on Thursday.
"The operation of the satellite will break the monopoly of the high-definition photo data by foreign companies," said Sun Laiyan, chief of the China National Space Administration (CNSA).
The satellite, named CBERS-2B, would play an important role in fields such as land and resources management, city planning, environment monitoring, disaster relief and prevention, agriculture, forestry and water resources, he said.
The satellite was launched into sun-synchronous orbit 778 km above the Earth on Sep. 19 last year. It is meant to replace CBERS-2, which was launched in 2003 and has outlived its two-year life span.
China and Brazil would continue cooperating in developing and manufacturing two second-generation earth resources satellites, Sun said.
"The project is going smoothly and the CBERS-3 is expected to be launched in 2010," he said.
CBERS-2B is the third satellite jointly developed by the China and Brazil. The first two were launched in 1999 and 2003, respectively.
(Xinhua News Agency January 25, 2008)