Saudi team develops payload for use in joint lunar exploration with Chinese Space Agency

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Engineers and researchers at the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology display the payload they have developed after months of painstaking research and testing. (SPA)
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Engineers and researchers at the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology display the payload they have developed after months of painstaking research and testing. (SPA)
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A close-up of the payload. (SPA)
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Saudi engineers and researchers at the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology display the payload they have developed after months of painstaking research and testing. (Twitter photo)
Updated 21 May 2018
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Saudi team develops payload for use in joint lunar exploration with Chinese Space Agency

  • The joint exploration is in line with a memorandum of understanding concluded between China and Saudi Arabia during King Salman's visit to Beijing in mid-March 2017,
  • Under the agreement, the Saudi side will build a payload for a space censoring system for use in filming and take photos of the moon.

JEDDAH: Saudi engineers and researchers have completed work on a payload for a Chinese space vehicle that will explore the moon, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.
The joint exploration is in line with a memorandum of understanding concluded between China and Saudi Arabia during King Salman's visit to Beijing in mid-March 2017, the SPA said, quoting Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed, president of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST).
The joint venture intends to study and explore the moon, "particularly the invisible side of it to provide scientific data for researchers and specialist in space research and science."
As agreed upon by the KACST and the Chinese Space Agency, the Saudi side will build a payload for a space sensory system for use in filming and take photos of the moon.
"The payload was readied in a record time of no more than 12 months during which the Saudi research team faced numerous challenges, most prominent of which was the importance of manufacturing a compact payload with a high capacity of less than 10.5 cu.cm and a weight of no more than 630 grams on the Chinese satellite," the KACST head said.
The payload consists of photographic and data processing units, among others, that is not only light in weight but also able to endure the space environment.
The equipment is capable of taking photos from different angles and altitudes that varies according to the lunar orbit changes, Prince Turki was quoted by the SPA as saying.
"Saudi Arabia's taking part in this great event would boost, no doubt, its efforts to develop its satellite technologies and use it in several fields of reconnaissance and distance censoring as well as space telecommunications, in addition to proceeding with the march of catching the world race in this field," he said.


Security officer, suspect killed in drugs bust gun fight

Updated 20 June 2018
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Security officer, suspect killed in drugs bust gun fight

  • Two people were killed in the shoot out and another injured
  • Four Ethiopians were also arrested following a chase

DUBAI: A security officer was killed in a gun fight on Tuesday that broke out during a drugs and alcohol raid in Saudi Arabia, state news agency SPA reported.

Security forces were searching a property in the Asir area during the night when a group of men opened fire.

A gun fight broke out during which one of the security forces and one of the suspects – an Ethiopian man - were killed, and a Saudi national was also injured.

The officer killed was later identified as Captain Abdullah Asiri.

Security officers also arrested four other Ethiopians after a chase in the mountainous region.