Two Saudi-designed satellites launch into space

1 / 5
The satellites, known as Sat 5a and Saudi Sat 5b, were launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. (SPA)
2 / 5
The two earth-observation satellites were developed by the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology. (SPA)
3 / 5
The two earth-observation satellites were developed by the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology. (SPA)
4 / 5
The two earth-observation satellites were developed by the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology. (SPA)
5 / 5
The two earth-observation satellites were developed by the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology. (SPA)
Updated 08 December 2018
0

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.


Saudi Arabia ‘racing into the future’ with Formula E

Updated 15 December 2018
0

Saudi Arabia ‘racing into the future’ with Formula E

  • A first for Saudi Arabia and the region, the event’s magnitude reflects the Kingdom’s goal of hosting major events and promoting them domestically and globally
  • “This is unprecedented and fabulous,” one concert-goer said. Another said: “I can’t believe I’m in Saudi Arabia.” 

RIYADH: Formula E is one for the books. Attracting fans from all over the world, the mega event — held in the historic Saudi town of Ad Diriyah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site — is set to revolutionize motorsports by using only electric race cars. 

Officially known as the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the race expects to draw 40,000 attendees, with access not only to the race but also to the Kingdom’s largest ever festival for music, entertainment and cultural activities.

A first for Saudi Arabia and the region, the event’s magnitude reflects the Kingdom’s goal of hosting major events and promoting them domestically and globally.

A milestone was marked as Bandar Alesayi and Ahmed bin Khanen became the first Saudi I-Pace eTrophy racers, sponsored by the General Sports Authority (GSA). 

Both drivers predict increased grassroots support in the Kingdom for youths to train in carting and race-car driving.  

At 1.76 miles long with 21 corners, the track is somewhat tricky for first-time Formula E drivers.

“The system is like Mario Bros when they get the little star and go faster,” said Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag. The new electric circuit in Saudi Arabia has been hailed as one of the best Formula E tracks.

The three-day event is hosting some of the world’s top singers, including Jason Derulo, Enrique Iglesias, Amr Diab, Black Eyed Peas, David Guetta and One Republic, along with DJ EJ. 

“This is unprecedented and fabulous,” one concert-goer said. Another said: “I can’t believe I’m in Saudi Arabia.” 

Outside the venue, Al-Bujairy, one of Ad Diriyah’s historic areas, hosts high-end restaurants, cafes and local designer outlets overlooking the historic district of At-Turaif, which was once home to the Saudi royal family and has newly opened for visitors.

Another area of interest is the Family Zone, with many events and activities to entertain all age groups. Men, women and children are given different driving experiences.

In Ad Diriyah’s Formula E, only one car is allowed per driver instead of two, making pit stops more crucial in terms of timing.  

“Attack mode” gives cars a temporary power boost from 200 to 225 kilowatts, equivalent to 268-302 horsepower. Drivers need to move to a certain area on the track to activate this mode.

“Saudi Arabia is racing into the future with Formula E, as we open the Kingdom to the world in a transformation that’s being supercharged by the Vision 2030 plan, driven forward by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal Al-Saud, vice-chair of the Saudi Arabian General Sports Authority, told Arab News.