Global agencies to study Saudi satellite

Global agencies to study Saudi satellite
Updated 17 March 2014

Global agencies to study Saudi satellite

Global agencies to study Saudi satellite

The King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) has signed an agreement with four global space agencies to conduct scientific experiments on Saudi SAT-4 satellite.
The accord was signed by Prince Turki bin Saud, KACST vice president for Research Institutes, with officials from NASA, the German Space Agency, Stanford University in the US and the Zarm (Drop-Tower Bremen) Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity.
The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the recently concluded workshop entitled “Search variation in the space of time and place,” which was organized by KACST in collaboration with the signing organizations.
“Saudi SAT-4 is to be launched during the summer,” said Badr Alsuwaidan of the National Satellite Program at KACST. “The satellite will be utilized for remote sensing and telecommunications.”
Saudi Arabia has launched 12 satellites so far. Two of them were sent up in 2000 and operated until September 2003, after which the SaudiSat was launched, which is still operational and serves communication facilities.
“Two Saudi satellites were successfully launched in 2004 and 2005, followed by six satellites in 2006 and 2007 that are still working around the clock and that have been sending detailed photos,” said Alsuwaidan.
“These satellites focus on outer space research, which benefits many public and private agencies.”
“Saudi Arabia has been making large strides in space science. Its programs cover applied satellite technology and services,” Prince Turki said.
KACST maintains close ties with NASA, Stanford University and space scientist Charles Everette in developing space technology.
There are currently five agreements with the US, India and Russia that have been approved by the Saudi Council of Ministers.
“Prince Sultan bin Salman’s space trip 27 years ago has, in fact, been the inspiration for Saudis to achieve greater accomplishments in the field of space science,” an official from KACST said.
He said that NASA has signed 4,000 agreements with 140 countries and that 36 scientists in 15 countries have participated in its space trips.
NASA, he said, has been monitoring and capturing images of climate change taking place around the world, including countries in the Gulf and the Middle East.