The Indian space ministry has indicated major progress in terms of establishing a BRICS satellite for various applications including natural resources management and disaster management.
The five-nation group of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) plans to share crucial data under a “virtual constellation of remote sensing satellites” which is made up of satellites contributed by BRICS space agencies.
“Progress has been made in technical discussions to realise a virtual constellation of remote sensing satellites, as part of the BRICS Programme,” said Minister of State for Space Jitendra Singh in parliament on Thursday.
The BRICS represents 43 percent of the world's population, 30 percent of gross domestic product and 17 percent of global trade and they have been trying to enhance co-operation in different fields, including space.
Currently, only Brazil, Russia, India and China have remote-sensing satellites in the sun-synchronous orbit, and they will provide data to South Africa, which does not have a satellite of its own.
“Technical aspects with respect to identifying the satellites and the ground stations for the initial virtual constellation were discussed by the Space Agencies,” the minister added, indicating that the discussion already reached an advanced stage.
During the 11th BRICS Summit in Brasilia in November 2019, the leaders of the five countries also noted progress towards developing a remote sensing satellite.
The five leaders made it clear that an arms race in space was of great concern to them and called for a legally-binding pact that would prevent placing weapons in space.
They said a multinational agreement was needed to "fill the gap in the international legal regime applicable to outer space, including on the prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space".