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Policy and Law

ArabiaWeather: Jordanian company is talking about the weather

One senior Arab space official is once said to have quipped that his country does not need a meteorological satellite since he knows what the weather will be next year, never mind tomorrow. Jokes aside, the Middle East has a more varied climate than many suppose, and has weather variations …

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At the start of a new space age

The European Space Agency (ESA) is one of the largest space organisations in the world, and has established many formal and informal links with Middle East governments, agencies, research institutes, and universities. SpaceWatch Middle East re-publishes here the Foreword written by the ESA Director-General, Jan Woerner, to the 2016 European …

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Egypt and Syria propose using satellites to counter terrorism at UN space meeting

Egypt, backed by Syria, has proposed an in-depth discussion on using satellites to counter terrorism at the United Nation’s space body, the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). The proposal came in the form of a short paper titled “Combating Terrorism using Space Technology,” drafted by Egyptian …

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Iranian Space Agency completes conceptual design of manned spacecraft

The Iranian Space Agency (ISA) completed its conceptual design for a manned spacecraft, including a human-rated space capsule and a launch vehicle, according to a report from Iranian news outlet, Tasnim News Agency. The human-rated space capsule will weigh one ton, and will be launched into space and safely returned …

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The Spectacular Rise of the UAE Space Agency and the Challenges Ahead

Where does the UAE Space Agency go after the Hope Mars Mission is achieved after 2021? Building and sustaining success, and therefore public and political support, is a challenge for all space agencies. The solutions to this challenge, however, can only be found in the United Arab Emirates. ThorGroup’s Chairman …

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ITU reinstates two orbital slots for Iranian communications satellites

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a UN international organisation that regulates satellite frequencies and orbital slots in geostationary orbit at 36,000 kilometres altitude, has reinstated two orbital slots for Iranian satellites. Iran had the two orbital positions withdrawn by the ITU because it had failed to place satellites in orbit, …

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In Saudi visit to Paris, reconnaissance satellite deal not in sight

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi Arabian Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister, visits Paris on 27 June 2016 to participate in the third Saudi-French Joint Committee, co-chaired by the young Prince and French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. The Deputy Crown Prince will also meet with French President Francois Hollande, …

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Interview: The European Union’s Copernicus Programme and the Middle East

The European Union’s Copernicus programme is a boon for analysts and researchers around the world since it provides all of the imagery taken by its Sentinel earth observation satellites for free. SpaceWatch Middle East interviewed Andreas Veispak, the acting Head of Unit for Space Data for Societal Challenges and Growth at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, …

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