The UAE would send off its fourth surveillance satellite into space next month.
The Falcon Eye 1 satellite would be fired into orbit on 6th July, Saturday, from the French Guiana Space Centre, in South America, at 5.53am UAE time.
Falcon Eye 1 would be the fourth reconnaissance satellite fired by the UAE, bringing the total number to 10 satellites in orbit. The UAE intends to have 12 satellites in Earth’s orbit by 2020.
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The UAE satellite was constructed by Airbus Defense and Space and Thales Alenia. It is fitted with a HiRI, High-Resolution Imager, and an imaging system. The data it sends back to the ground control station would be used for agricultural monitoring, mapping, urban planning and monitoring changes in the environment, assisting with response planning for natural disasters, and supervising the UAE’s borders and coasts.
The satellite, which weighs around 1,500kg, would be fired via an Istalian Space Agency-developed Vega rocket by Arianespace – a European company that has send off over 550 satellites into space.
The UAE successfully fired KhalifaSat, the first totally Emirati-built satellite, into space in October last year.
The satellite is presently in Low Earth Orbit, where it would remain for five years and take high quality images of the ground below to broadcast or transmit to Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre.
The firing of the satellite was commended by the UAE’s leaders as an “unprecedented Emirati accomplishment”.
MYSAT-1, a satellite built and constructed by UAE students from Khalifa University, was fired into space a few weeks later. It has a camera fitted with it that would take pictures of Earth, and would also be used to test a lithium-ion battery created at the university.
Hazza Al Mansouri was picked up from thousands of applicants to represent the UAE on the eight-day mission.