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Virgin Galactic Achieves Spaceflight Success, With Help From UAE Investment

Virgin Galactic, the private spaceflight company founded by Virgin Group chairman Sir Richard Branson achieved success on 13 December 2018 after its SpaceShipTwo Unity (VSS Unity) reached suborbital space for the first time over the Mojave Desert in California, United States. VSS Unity reached an altitude of 82.7 kilometres near …

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#SpaceWatchGL Interview: Dr. Mohammed Al Ahbabi Of The UAE Space Agency

Clear Objectives for a New Space Pioneer The UAE Space Agency has set out its stall right from the very beginning. It is highly ambitious, and since its establishment just four years ago, it has come an incredibly long way. It has overseen the initiation the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) …

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Turkey’s President Erdogan Establishes National Space Agency

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a Presidential decree on 12 December 2018 that formally establishes the Turkish Space Agency, along with its roles and missions. The decree ends a long road for the efforts in creating the agency with the process disrupted by the political instability resulting from the …

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Egypt Receives Second ITU Extension For Military Satellite Due To Launch Delay

The Egyptian government has received a second extension from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to fill its orbital slot with a military communications satellite in an unprecedented and likely controversial decision by the international organisation, according to reporting in Space Intel Report. In 2016 the ITU granted its first extension …

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Syria Seeks To Build Satellite, Establish A Space Programme

The Syrian Minister of Communications and Technology, Iyad Khatib, has stated the need for Syria to develop a space programme and launch its first satellite into orbit, the ministry said on 11 December 2018, according to Russian news outlet Sputnik International. The minister visited a Syrian space research organisation called …

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Israel’s Gilat Selected To Help Set Up Japanese Emergency Communications System

Gilat, the Israeli satellite communications equipment company, has been selected by the Local Authorities Satellite Communications (LASCOM), an agency of the Japanese government, to help provide a disaster response emergency communications platform along with the SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation. This multi-million-dollar project will deliver a next-generation disaster response platform to …

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SaudiSat-5A/5B Successfully Launched By Chinese Long March 2D Launch Vehicle

Saudi Arabia’s Earth observation satellites, SaudiSat-5A and SaudiSat-5B, were successfully launched on board a Long March 2D launch vehicle on Friday, 7 December 2018, from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre (JSLC) in Northwest China at 04:12 UTC. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) developed and manufactured …

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Algeria Considering Second ALCOMSAT Communications Satellite

Algeria’s space agency, the Agence spatiale algérienne (ASAL), the Algerian space is actively considering building a second communications satellite, Alcomsat-2, to replace Alcomsat-1 at the end of its service life in orbit. During the ASAL open house organised on 3-4 December 2018, its managing director Azzedine Oussedik revealed that the agency’s …

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Azerbaijan And Iran To Jointly Build Satellite, Cooperate In Satellite Communications

Azerbaijan and Iran have concluded negotiations on space cooperation, to include the Iranian use of Azerbaijani communications satellites and the joint development of a remote sensing satellite, according Azerbaijani media reports. “We are currently holding negotiations on Iran’s use of satellites belonging to Azerbaijan. In addition, Iran has a satellite …

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SpaceX Successfully Launches SmallSat Express For Middle East, European, and Asian Customers

SpaceX successfully launched its Spaceflight SSO-A: SmallSat Express mission to low-Earth orbit on Monday, 3 December 2018 at 10:34am PST, from Space Launch Complex 4E (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California using a Falcon 9 satellite launch vehicle. A total of 64 spacecraft from 34 organizations will be …

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