BRASLIA - Brazil and China will launch a new joint environmental monitoring satellite next year to replace one which failed to enter orbit earlier this month, Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo said Tuesday.
"What happened was a tragedy...But there is another satellite already built and ready. It was in the budget for the project, planned for launch in 2015,"Bernardo said.
"Now we are looking at the possibility of launching it in 2014," he added.
The Brazilian-Chinese CBERS-3 satellite, meant to be a key tool in Brazil's efforts to control Amazon rainforest deforestation and to monitor its huge agribusiness sector, blasted off from China's Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Shanxi province on a Long March 4B rocket December 9, 2013.
But the launch rocket malfunctioned during the flight and the satellite failed to enter orbit.
Bernardo said the satellite programme called for all parts to be built with duplicate copies, which have already been shipped to China.
The CBERS remote-sensing satellite programme grew out of a bilateral partnership agreement signed in 1988.
Three satellites of the series were launched in 1999, 2003 and 2007 aboard Chinese-made Long March rockets