At 0326 GMT on 7th December a Long March 4B rocket was launched from the Taiyuan launch site in China. Aboard the launch was CBERS 4 – China Brazil Earth Resources Satellite. The spacecraft was launched into a 751 x 742km sun-synchronous orbit at 98.5 degrees inclination relative to the equator. CBERS-4 carries four cameras in the payload module of Brazilian and Chinese manufacture. The highest resolution instrument MUXCam is an INPE instrument designed and developed at Opto Eletrônica S. A., of Sao Carlos, Sao Paulo, Brazil. The objective is to provide imagery for cartographic applications. MUXCam is a multispectral camera with four spectral bands covering the wavelength range from blue to near infrared (from 450 nm to 890 nm) with a ground resolution of 20 m and a ground swath width of 120 km.
The launch marks a return of good fortune to the joint Sino-Brazilian Earth observation satellite programme. The CBERS-3 spacecraft was lost on a Long March launch failure in 2013.