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UAE's first earth observation satellite launched

world Updated: Jul 30, 2009 13:18 IST
PTI
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UAE's first earth observation satellite, DubaiSat-1 was successfully launched from Kazakhstan.

"The rocket lifted off at 1210 IST. All the satellites separated successfully and they are all currently in orbit," Audrey Nice, spokesperson for Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), who was involved in the launch, told the local media.

DubaiSat-1, the UAE's first dedicated 'eye in the sky', will orbit 680 km above the earth with an orbital speed of 27,000 km per hour.Emirates Institute for Advanced Science and Technology

The project, run by the (EIAST), cost almost 184 million dirhams ($ 50 million) and the satellite has a minimum lifespan of five years.

"Developing a core team of UAE scientists and experts was the most definitive outcome of a strategy that is geared to support mature, knowledge-based development," Ahmad Obaid Al Mansouri, director-general of EIAST had said earlier.

DubaiSat-1 was built in collaboration with the South Korea-based Satrec initiative and with the help of EAIST engineers. Its development team is already working on final designs for DubaiSat-2 as well as continuing with plans to create the country's first constellation of satellites.

The launch was originally scheduled for last Saturday but it was delayed to allow for additional safety and security testing.