Saudi Launches 2 Locally Made Satellites

Saudi Launches 2 Locally Made Satellites

Saturday, 8 December, 2018 - 09:00
Saudi experts in Riyadh monitor the launching of the missiles from China (Photo by Ahmed Fathi)
Riyadh - Abdulhadi Habtor
Saudi Arabia launched two Saudi-made satellites into space for aerial surveying on Friday morning from China.

Operated from the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) in Riyadh, the satellites will provide high-resolution images of the planet’s surface from low earth orbits, help with urban planning, monitor movements and changes on the earth’s surface, and provide government agencies with services, in particular, high-resolution imaging.

The satellites, known as Sat 5a and Saudi Sat 5b, were launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center and have joined the second generation of Saudi Arabia’s high-accuracy remote-sensing satellites.

KACT President Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed Al-Saud confirmed that the achievement aligns itself with the Kingdom’s vision for transformation launched by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

The two satellites were fully manufactured and tested in accordance with the international standards in KACST laboratories with the hands of Saudi expertise and competencies working in the field of satellite industry and development.

Considered a national achievement, KACST published a statement saying the launching comes as a result of the great support provided by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and the Crown Prince for the sector of research and development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia generally and KACST particularly.

Saudi Sat 5 is an asset to the accomplishments achieved by the Kingdom in the fields of space and satellites.

KACST, between 200 and 2017, launched 13 satellites and participated in the exploration mission of Changi 4 Satellite with the Chinese side. It has also provided the advanced services for the remote-sensing system, and launched a developed system for satellite-tracking and controlling of commercial ships which includes a comprehensive daily coverage of ship traffic of up to 30,000 ships around the world.

The launch of the two new satellites comes as part of the Kingdom Vision 2030 aiming to localize strategic technologies, maximize local content and empower the Saudi youths gain knowledge of advanced technologies in the development and manufacture of satellites.

To its record, KACST collaborated in outer space experiments and research with US space agency NASA and Stanford University on the Saudi Sat-4 in 2014.

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