FRENCH GUIANA 3 December 2020: To mark its 49th National Day, the UAE launched the satellite Falcon’s Eye into space from the French Guiana Space Centre, in South America, at 5:33am UAE time (01:33 GMT).
The Soyuz ST-A rocket lifted off from the launch complex in French Guiana and the earth-observation satellite separated 58 minutes after burns by the Fregat upper stage.
Equipped with a High-Resolution Imager, the satellite is the fourth reconnaissance satellite launched by the UAE, bringing the total number to 12 satellites into orbit, said Wam.
The data it transmits back to the ground control station will be used for mapping, agricultural monitoring, urban planning and monitoring changes in the environment, helping with response planning for natural disasters, and monitoring the UAE’s borders and coasts.
Fitted with an earth-observation payload, with very-high-resolution optical capabilities, the satellite will remain in Low Earth Orbit for 10 years taking high quality imagery of the ground below to relay to the ground control station.
The project began five years ago and implemented by many experienced engineers and technicians from the UAE Armed Forces specialising in mega project management and military and space systems who were joined by foreign experts.
Matar Salem Ali Al Dhaheri, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Defense, noted: “Falcon’s Eye will reinforce the UAE’s accumulated experience in the satellite sector, especially after a series of consecutive successes in this field,” he further added.
Lieutenant General Dr. Khalifa Thani Al-Rumaithi, Chairman of the Supreme Committee for the Falcon’s Eye, said that the National Space Programme aims to achieve excellence, as part of the country’s development experience.
“The satellite’s team are all Emirati citizens aged between 27 and 28, a fact which confirms the country has the human, knowledge and technology resources that will make it an example to follow for the space sector development, most notably following the launch of the Hope Probe, the first Emirati mission to discover Mars, which is set to arrive in the red planet in 2021, coinciding with the country’s Golden Jubilee,” he added.
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