back to article China, Russia, India, and pals agree to create virtual satellite constellation

The space agencies of the BRICS bloc – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – have agreed to share some satellite sensing data. The BRICS bloc have a loose economic and diplomatic collaboration, framed around a desire to create a grouping big enough to represent a counterweight to other more established alliances and …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    WTF?

    Wait, Brazil has a launch pad ?

    The sentence "Of the BRICS members, only South Africa lacks its own sensing satellites " made me do a double-take. Brazil can launch rockets ?

    Well, yes it can. And so can a lot of others I wouldn't have thought of.

    In that list of 119 launch sites (including two at sea), there are countries I couldn't believe. Israel has a launch site. How that doesn't incinerate the whole tiny country is beyond me. Irak has a launch site. Who'd've thought ?

    We have 119 rocket launching sites in the world. That makes for an insane amount of launch capability.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: Wait, Brazil has a launch pad ?

      Israel is forced to launch retrograde so debris falls in the Med.

      1. G.Y.

        Re: Wait, Brazil has a launch pad ?

        and the documentation is written right to left ...

    2. HildyJ Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Wait, Brazil has a launch pad ?

      There is more than a whiff of the cold war US-USSR space competition, except that it's now everybody against everybody else. Some are driven by prestige and science but others are driven by military considerations (e.g. military control of GPS, military classification of data), others are political (e.g. Israel and Iran have launch sites because Iran and Israel have launch sites), others are due to legal issues (e.g. China has a space station because they are barred from participating in the ISS), and, of course, there's Musk and company who are in it for the money.

      It truly is the Space Age.

      1. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Re: Wait, Brazil has a launch pad ?

        I think I'd trust the PRC more than Bezos-Musk, Inc.

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Wait, Brazil has a launch pad ?

      "Well, yes it can."

      It came perilously close to not having a space program anymore after blowing up many of the key people involved in it on the pad in 2003: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VLS-1_V03

      ESA launched most of their birds for a while

      https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/21/18274473/brazil-alcantara-space-center-us-rocket-launche-site-boeing-lockheed-martin-vector

  2. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Us watching them, watching us

    > Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – have agreed to share some satellite sensing data.

    So another version of the five spies

    (Though I suspect that in reality each group has at least 10 eyes)

  3. Snar

    Maybe

    Cummings can sell them some satellites?

  4. herman Silver badge

    Satnogs

    For those interested in building your own satellite ground station, see Satnogs: https://satnogs.org/

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