Russian Soyuz rocket launches into space with satellites from Saudi Arabia, UAE
The Soyuz 2.1a rocket has launched into space with 38 satellites from 18 countries, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the Russian space agency Roscosmos announced on Monday.
The Kingdom has two satellites on board the spacecraft: the Shaheen Satellite and the CubeSat Satellite.
The Shaheen Satellite will be used for photography and maritime tracking purposes, while the CubeSat will communicate with small and large satellites, and the International Space Station.
Designed by King Saud University, CubeSat is the first satellite to be made by a Saudi Arabian tertiary education facility.
The UAE’s nanometric environment satellite will measure air pollutant sources across the country, and help the Dubai Municipality and Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center create a nation-wide air quality map.
Tunisia is the third Arab country to send a satellite onboard the rocket. The Challenge-1 is the first satellite made completely in the north African country.
The Soyuz rocket took off from Kazakhstan with satellites from more than half a dozen Asian, Arab, and European countries, according to Roscosmos.
The rocket was scheduled to depart Earth on Saturday, but was postponed after a surge in voltage was detected, Space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin said.