Summary

Brazil’s first entirely home-built satellite, the Aamazonia-1, was successfully launched from a base in India, joining the fleet of spacecraft monitoring threats to the Amazon forest. Now, the country is part of a selective group of about 20 nations that have managed the whole chain of satellite design, production, and operation. Combining data from Amazonia-1 and existing satellites will enable near-daily updates on the world’s largest rainforest’s deforestation and agricultural activity. Researchers hope to use the new data to predict fire spread and have a more accurate picture of crop and pasture growth. But they also fear the current government might not use the satellite information to act on deforestation, as they have been facing an unsupportive administration and repeated budget cuts in the agencies responsible for the Amazon monitoring.

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