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Earth observation

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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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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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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DigitalGlobe and Auracle Geospatial partner to focus on mineral exploration

DigitalGlobe, the Westminster, Colorado, USA, based commercial high-resolution satellite imagery company has partnered with Auracle Geospatial, located in British Columbia, Canada, in order to develop search capabilities for mineral resources exploration. The Middle East region produces not only oil and natural gas but also has large deposits of aluminium, chromium, …

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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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There are no borders seen from space…A beautiful picture of the Middle East taken from the ISS

There are no borders seen from space…that such beauty can be discerned from a part of the world – the Cradle of Civilization – where so much tragedy and suffering occurs is perhaps the cruelest of ironies. From space the political unrest in Egypt, the ongoing conflict between the Palestinians …

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United States to start space security dialogues with GCC states

A senior US government official has announced that the United States should like to enter in to space security dialogues with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states in the coming months. Speaking at the 32nd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on 14 April 2016, the US Assistant Secretary of …

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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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Disrupt Space summit successfully kickstarts the commercial space sector in Europe

The first Disrupt Space summit was held on 7-8 April 2016. Over the course of two days, 200 top entrepreneurs and decision makers from across the world came to Bremen, Germany, to solve global industry and sustainability challenges using space proposed by select international organizations and participated in high-level workshops …

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