Saudi Arabia has announced the successful launch of the first Saudi satellite (SGS-1), which weighs 605 tons and is over 20 years old, from the French Guiana Space Center on board the “Ariane 5”.
Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, said: “The launch of the satellite comes in line with the vision of the Kingdom 2030, In the Kingdom, increasing local content, and empowering Saudi youth to work on advanced technologies in satellite development and manufacturing. ”
“The successful launch of this satellite comes as an important step in our relationship with King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and the Kingdom, which is based on innovation, science, technology and human resource development,” said Richard Edwards, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who visited the headquarters of Lockheed Martin in the Silicon Valley in San Francisco last April, signed the final piece of the Saudi satellite with the words “above the clouds.”
The project, which was developed in cooperation with Lockheed Martin, included the rehabilitation of a number of Saudi engineers in accordance with the standards adopted by the company in all stages of manufacturing and testing, in order to transfer the manufacturing and testing expertise of large satellite technologies dedicated to space communications in a fixed orbit.
The satellite aims to “secure high-speed Ka-Band satellite communications as a national strategic plan to meet the needs of the Kingdom, provide state-of-the-art telecommunications services for use by government sectors, and commercial specifications for the rest of the Middle East, North Africa, Greater Africa and Central Asia, “and aims to” develop local capacity, human resources and create jobs in the space industry. ”
The Saudi Telecom satellite is characterized by its use of hybrid (electric and chemical) propulsion systems that have helped to reduce weight and increase its lifespan, as well as advanced techniques for safe communication and tamper resistant communications.
The satellite offers multiple applications including broadband connections and secure communications, as well as providing connections to semi-remote areas and disaster areas. The satellite, which will be operated and controlled by ground stations in the Kingdom, also supports the telecommunications infrastructure.