Exclusive: Egypt Sat-A launched, Reaches Orbit

By: Taarek Refaat, Ali Abu-Dashish

ASTANA, Feb. 21(SEE)- Advisor to the Russian Space Agency Hussein Al-Shafei said on Thursday the Satellite “Egypt Sat A” was launched from the Russian spaceport Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

“The satellite has reached orbit, everything is working regularly, transmitters are broadcasting and solar panels are open,” the director of Roscosmos press service Vladimir Ustimenko reported.

Al-Shafei added that the launch was observed by high-level Egyptian delegation headed by Mahmoud Hussein, head of the Egyptian National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences, Ali Sadeq head of the former Egyptian space program, and Mohamed Al-Qoussi head of satellite department in the National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences, as well as a Russian delegation from Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities, and the Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, which built the satellite.

He explained that EgyptSat was built by an Egyptian-Russian partnership as an alternative to the satellite, which was lost in February 2015 after less than a year from its launch.

The new satellite is distinguished from the previous one in terms of characteristics and memory capacity.

It was developed and tested at the end of last month. It was flown by a private jet from Russia to Baikonur, where the Egyptian team observed its final stages.

The satellite will provide high-resolution images of the Earth with the possibilities of urban planning, monitoring of desertification phenomena, attacks on state lands, as well as a follow up on water levels.

In 2016, the National Authority for Remote Sensing & Space Sciences signed a contract with Energia to ensure a 2 years joint co-operation project between Egyptian and Russian researchers.

A Soyuz-2 launch vehicle with Fregat upper stage was installed on the launch pad at Site 31 of Baikonur Cosmodrome.

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