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Satellites and the Middle East’s cyber wars

The latest round of cyber skirmishes that have erupted between Iranian and Saudi Arabian hackers is a timely reminder that Middle Eastern satellites and their operators are vulnerable to more sophisticated cyber attacks. ThorGroup’s Dr. John B. Sheldon explores this often discussed yet poorly understood threat to space systems. On …

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What if Iran’s space programme is what the Iranians say it is… a space programme?

What if Iran’s space programme is exactly what the Iranian government says it is… a space programme? What if Iran’s Simorgh and Safir rockets are actual space launch vehicles rather than a cover for the development of long-range ballistic missiles? And, if we are to assume all of this is …

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Spacepower in the Middle East: The Paradox of Strategic Depth and Transparency

Tragically, the Middle East has been the backdrop for changes in the character of war over the past few decades. With the rapid dissemination of high-resolution Earth observation satellites throughout the region, even more changes in the character of war are in store, argues ThorGroup’s Dr. John B. Sheldon. The unique, …

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Securing reliable satellite navigation in the Middle East

It is difficult to overstate the critical importance of satellite navigation for the Middle East, yet the service is vulnerable to disruption. ThorGroup’s Dr. John B. Sheldon examines the threats to satellite navigation in the region, and ways to mitigate their worst effects. When Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) seized …

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No Pressure: The Hope Mars Mission and the Future of UAE Space Exploration

Recent developments in international space exploration plans for Mars have inadvertently placed the UAE’s Hope Mars Mission in the forefront, and impact the future of UAE’s space exploration ambitions. ThorGroup’s Chairman and President, Dr. John B. Sheldon, explains. Without even knowing or asking for it, the past several weeks have …

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Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030: A Golden Opportunity for Space?

ThorGroup’s Chairman and President, Dr. John B. Sheldon, explores the role of space in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 recently announced economic and social reform programme. He argues that Vision 2030 is a golden opportunity for Saudi Arabian space. Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the son of King Salman and Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, …

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Iran’s Future Spy Satellites: What Can Be Done?

With the Iranian sanctions regime steadily coming apart, it is only a matter of time before Iran acquires – or even develops on its own – a high-resolution imaging satellite that will revolutionise its military and civil remote-sensing capabilities. Such a development is of particular concern to a number of countries …

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French Satellite Dominance in the Middle East Set to Expand

With an imminent satellite deal with Egypt, France is set to become the satellite manufacturer of choice for Middle East countries. John B. Sheldon, Chairman and President of ThorGroup GmbH, analyzes the geopolitical implications of this important deal. French President Francois Hollande and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi are expected to …

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