Two Saudi-designed satellites launch into space

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The satellites, known as Sat 5a and Saudi Sat 5b, were launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. (SPA)
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The two earth-observation satellites were developed by the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology. (SPA)
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The two earth-observation satellites were developed by the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology. (SPA)
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The two earth-observation satellites were developed by the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology. (SPA)
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The two earth-observation satellites were developed by the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology. (SPA)
Updated 08 December 2018
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Two Saudi-designed satellites launch into space

  • The earth-observation satellites were developed by the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology
  • The satellites will be used to provide high-resolution images of the planet’s surface from low earth orbits

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia launched two Saudi-designed satellites into space for aerial surveying on Friday morning from China.

The two earth-observation satellites that were developed by the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) were launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

The satellites, known as Sat 5a and Saudi Sat 5b, join the second generation of Saudi Arabia’s high-accuracy remote-sensing satellites.

The satellites will be used to provide high-resolution images of the planet’s surface from low earth orbits, help with urban planning, monitor movements and changes on the earth’s surface, and provide government agencies with services, in particular, high-resolution images.

KACST has so far launched 13 satellites, has collaborated with China in the Chang’e 4 mission to explore the far side of the moon; provided advanced services for remote-sensing systems; and has participated in the launch of an advanced system for maritime monitoring and tracking with satellite data, which includes daily coverage of 30,000 vessels across the world.

The launch of the two new satellites is in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which aims to nationalize strategic technologies in Saudi Arabia, maximize local content, and empower Saudi youth to develop advanced technologies in the field of satellite development and construction.


Four killed in failed terrorist attack on interior ministry building north of Riyadh

Updated 21 April 2019
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Four killed in failed terrorist attack on interior ministry building north of Riyadh

  • Three government security personnel suffered minor injuries during the exchange of fire
  • The identities of the four gunmen are still being determined

RIYADH: Four heavily armed attackers were killed in a failed terrorist attack on an interior ministry building in Zulfi, north of Riyadh.

A spokesperson from the Kingdom’s Presidency of State Security also said that three government security personnel suffered minor injuries during the exchange of fire, Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

Al-Arabiya reported that the assailants belonged to Daesh, but the group had not claimed responsibility for the attack and there was no official confirmation from Saudi authorities as to the identity of the attackers on Sunday afternoon.

“The security authorities in the Presidency managed to thwart the terrorist act targeting the center of investigations ... and dealt with them as required by the situation,” the spokesman was quoted by SPA as saying.

The identities of the four gunmen are still being determined by government authorities, the news agency added.

Special security personnel were still working on the site to assess and identify the explosive materials that the terrorists had in their possession, the spokesperson said, and the findings would be announced later.

The suspects, who were on board a car, tried to crash through the main entrance of the General Directorate of Investigation’s Center in Riyadh, but were intercepted by security to prevent the vehicle from gaining access into the compund.

Two gunmen died during the initial exchange of fire with the security forces, while one was killed as he attempted to flee. The fourth attacker died as he tried to blow up an explosive belt,  pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat reported. 

The Kingdom of Bahrain condemned the actions of the suspects and the terrorist attack on Sunday, the country's news agency said.