Saudi Arabia to launch two new satellites

Nov. 12, 2012 at 7:41 PM
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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Saudi Arabia intends to have Russia launch two more of its satellites in the next three years, a member of the Saudi royal family says.

The satellites, Saudisat 4 and Saudi GEO 1, will be sent into orbit aboard Russian carrier rockets in 2013 and 2015, respectively, Prince Turki bin Saud bin Muhammad said.

The satellites will carry precision navigation systems with highly sensitive instruments and cameras for conducting various scientific experiments, RIA Novosti reported.

"This is a part of a long-range 20-year strategic plan the kingdom adopted in the field of space technology research," said Turki, who is vice president for research institutes at King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology.

"It started in 2005 and will last until 2025."

Saudi Arabia currently has 12 satellites in orbit for communication and land and sea navigation, all launched from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.

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