June 10, 2024

In 2022, the BRICS nations created the BRICS Joint Committee on Space Cooperation to enable member space agencies to collaborate on matters pertaining to environmental protection, disaster prevention and mitigation, and managing climate change impacts with efficient data sharing and utilisation.

The current BRICS committee is made up of the following nations: South Africa, Brazil, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. At the summit on 23 May 2024 the heads of BRICS space agencies met to deliberate on aspects of international space cooperation as well as updates on ongoing and future space initiatives.

A draft joint statement by the Heads of BRICS Space Agencies was presented to the participants for consideration. This statement encourages the prevention of use space weapons, avoid the jeopardising of the space environment and the support for BRICS nations space missions.

The BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation Cooperation Initiative, established in 2015, aims to form the BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Virtual Constellation to ensure data-sharing amongst the BRICS space agencies in order to address climate change, environmental disasters and environmental protection.

South Africa, through SANSA expressed interest in Russia’s proposal of a space council within the BRICS group. “We see the Russian proposal to create a BRICS space council. We will develop our cooperation in this direction; South Africa supports this initiative,” Humbulani Mudau, SANSA CEO stated. South Africa currently has existing partnership with Russia on the PanEOS project to track space debris.

SANSA used the gathering to facilitate the signing of Memorandum of Understandings with Space Science and Geospatial Institute of Ethiopia and Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences to enable closer collaboration in space and technology projects. Other engagements were held with other BRICS space agencies to understand their projects/ missions and areas of potential partnership.

This collaborative approach to space activities, where all member countries contribute their unique perspectives, resources, and expertise, is a key strength of the BRICS space cooperation and a testament to the shared commitment to advancing space science and technology for the benefit of all.

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