Riyadh: Two Saudi satellites have been launched on Friday (December 7), into space from China, via a Long March 2D launch vehicle from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi Desert.
The SaudiSat-5A and SaudiSat-5B remote sensing satellites have been developed and manufactured at the King Abdulla City for Science and Technology (KACST), Almowaten reported.
They are the second generation of Saudi-made Earth observation satellites, replacing the SaudiSat-2 (launched in 2004) and SaudiSat-3 (launched in 2007) remote sensing satellites that were also manufactured by KACST.
More than 120 Saudi nationals specialised in mechanics, telecommunications, digital engineering, energy, control systems, programming and fibre optics took part in developing and manufacturing the two 200kg high-resolution Earth observation satellites.
The launch of the two new satellites is part of the Saudi Vision 2030 aiming to transfer strategic technologies, maximise local content and empower Saudi youths to grasp advanced technologies in the development and manufacture of satellites, KACST said in a press release.
KACST has so far launched 13 satellites and is participating in the Chinese-led Chang’e-4 Lunar exploration mission.