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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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Saudi Arabia and Belarus agree on space cooperation

Saudi Arabian officials visited Minsk, the capital city of Belarus, on 16 May 2016 for discussions on various topics of mutual interest with their Belarusian counterparts. The discussions resulted in a number of agreements between the two countries, including one that commits Belarus providing Saudi Arabia with optics technologies for …

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UAE’s Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre expanding workforce

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, announced on 17 May 2016 that it is hiring 35 engineers and administrative staff in what is a significant expansion of the space research and satellite manufacturing facility. The career opportunities available at MBRSC cover various fields …

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UAE and Japan sign space cooperation agreement

In a move that cements an already thriving space relationship, the United Arab Emirates Space Agency signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with the Government of Japan last week, setting the stage for strategic collaboration in space exploration and science between the two countries. The UAE-Japanese MoC is the latest …

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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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Iranian Space Agency announces future satellite plans

Speaking to senior officials earlier this week at an Iranian Space Agency (ISA) meeting, the ISA Director Mohsen Bahrami announced that Iran will launch two indigenously built satellites in the very near future, and that three other satellites are currently being manufactured. The two satellites due to be launched are …

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Virgin Galactic’s new commercial for its spaceflight and satellite launch services

Virgin Galactic, the private spaceflight and satellite launch company owned by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Abu Dhabi’s Aabar Investments PJS, has just released its first television commercial. The commercial features both Virgin Galactic’s spaceflight service for wealthy individuals seeking a flight into suborbital space; and also for its …

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UAE’s Emirates Space Innovation Group meets to set out space technology roadmap, priorities

The United Arab Emirates Space Agency convened the first two-day conference of the Emirates Space Innovation Group (ESIG) on 3-4 May 2016, with the group creating a science and technology roadmap. The ESIG has been established to develop the science, technology and innovation capabilities in the UAE space sector and …

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