Brazil touts partnership with SpaceX to connect rural areas and monitor Amazon forest

The Brazilian development minister, Rosa Nobre, says the US tech firm will be useful in connecting cities and maintaining the Amazon rainforest

Brazil touts partnership with SpaceX to connect rural areas and monitor Amazon forest

Billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX company will help Brazil provide satellite data that officials say will help the country’s indigenous communities and farmers improve their plantations, protect environmentally sensitive areas, and combat deforestation.

A commercial partnership signed at a San Francisco conference Thursday calls for the company to provide satellite data that will help Brazil improve its mapping capabilities, connect communities, monitor oil pipelines and develop agriculture areas, Brazil’s development minister, Rosa Nobre, said.

“To prepare Brazil’s Amazon for the challenges of climate change it will be very important to adopt technologies that take place in the Amazon,” Nobre said in a statement.

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“This is also a game changer for making inroads in isolated areas and remote areas.”

SpaceX said it would improve Brazil’s satellite capabilities, launch satellites on its Falcon 9 rocket, and improve and maintain them, and to assist in the resolution of satellite maps, and give space engineering information to Brazilian government agencies.

Nobre said the partnership would be important for Brazil, which is struggling to improve energy infrastructure and connect its vast rural areas, as well as helping it monitor the shrinking rainforest in the Amazon.

Environment minister José Sarney Filho said in a statement: “Space is of great value in the Amazon because it can monitor what is happening in tropical forests and not just the physical boundary of forests, which is so problematic in Brazil.”

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