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Rwanda Considers Building Cubesat; Mulls Proposing Regional Satellite Cooperation

Patrick Nyirishema, the Director-General of the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), told a workshop on space regulations in Kigali – the capital city of Rwanda – that the small African country is looking at developing its own small communications satellite, and is also mulling the possibility of proposing a regional satellite with six other East African countries, according to a report by Africanews.space.

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UAE and South Korea Underscore Close Space Cooperation

New discussions between the UAE and South Korea underscore their deep strategic cooperation in space in what has become an enduring collaboration between the two emerging spacepowers. The UAE Space Agency, led by Dr. Eng. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director-General, welcomed Mi-Ock Mun, Advisor to the President for Science and Technology from the Office of the President of the Republic of South Korea, in Abu Dhabi last week. According to a press release, the leaders and their delegations discussed further space cooperation opportunities between the two parties.

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UAE Signs Space Cooperation Agreement With Russia and Kazakhstan

The United Arab Emirates has signed a Letter of Intent with Russia and Kazakhstan to cooperate in space exploration and future space projects. The agreement was signed during a visit to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan by a delegation from the UAE Space Agency led by Dr. Ahmad Abdullah Al Falasi, UAE Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency.

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Kenya’s First Satellite in Orbit, But Still No Space Agency

Kenya's first indigenously-built satellite was launched by a SpaceX Falcon-9 space launch vehicle to the International Space Station (ISS) on 2 April 2018 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The satellite, called First Kenya University Nano Satellite-Precursor Flight (1KUNS-PF) was built by a team from the University of Nairobi, with technical assistance from staff from the University of Rome, and co-funded by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) as part of the KiboCUBE programme.

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Lockheed Martin Considering Satellite Assembly in Saudi Arabia

Prince Mohammed bin Salman al Saud, the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, visited Lockheed Martin's satellite manufacturing facilities in California's Silicon Valley on 5 April 2018, where the prospect of a Saudi Arabian-Lockheed Martin joint venture to assemble satellites in the desert kingdom was discussed.

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Pakistan’s PRSS-1 and PakTES-1A Earth Observation Satellites to be Launched by China in June 2018

The Chinese state news outlet Xinhua has reported that the Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS)-1 and PakTES-1A will be launched in June 2018 from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre using a Long March-2C/SMA space launch vehicle. As of the publication of this report no exact date in June was provided by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALVT) who made the announcement on 3 April 2018 on their website.

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Iran’s Space Agency Chief Extols the Virtues of Iransat-21, Other Satellite Applications

Morteza Barari, head of the Iran Space Agency and deputy minister at the Iranian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology told Mehr News Agency that ordinary Iranians, the economy, and society at large benefit everyday from Earth observation, communications, and positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) satellites without realising it.

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Rocket Lab All Set for Responsive Launches, Making New Zealand a Launching Power

U.S. orbital launch provider Rocket Lab has announced its first commercial launch for New Space companies Spire and GeoOptics, further establishing New Zealand as a space launch power. Rocket Lab will open a 14-day launch window beginning 20 April 2018 to conduct its first fully commercial launch. The mission, named ‘It’s Business Time’, will include manifested payloads for Spire Global and GeoOptics Inc., built by Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems.

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