Two satellites designed and made in Saudi Arabia are set to be launched on 0607 GMT on March 21, 2021, said Russian space agency Roscosmos. One of the satellites (Shaheen Sat) will be used for maritime tracking while the other (CubeSat) will serve academic purposes.
The scheduled launch of the two locally-made satellites was originally intended on Saturday and was postponed to Sunday after a surge in voltage was detected, according to space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin.
Prince Sultan bin Salman, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Space Authority, said: “I am hopeful that great moves and achievements will be made so that we can continue to be in the lead. The Kingdom deserves to be in a position of leadership in everything, including space activities.”
In a video, Prince Sultan congratulated the space satellite innovation brought by King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and King Saud University (KSU).
“Shaheen Sat” will become the 17th KACST spacecraft to be launched in Kazakhstan. It will be utilized for photography and maritime tracking purposes. While “CubeSat,” is designed by KSU for educational use. With this feat, KSU is the first university in the Kingdom to launch a satellite into space. The cube-shaped satellite has 10-centimeter dimensions and weighs about 1 kilogram.
“I congratulate King Saud University for undertaking these scientific missions that aim to develop the sectors related to the space industry,” said Prince Sultan.
In line with this, Prince Sultan said that with the establishment of the Saudi Space Authority as an umbrella institution, the Kingdom is looking to produce major achievements in partnership with bodies and institutions that work in the field of scientific research, such as KACST.