UAE launches satellite Falcon Eye 2 into space to mark 49th National Day
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UAE launches satellite Falcon Eye 2 into space to mark 49th National Day

UAE launches satellite Falcon Eye 2 into space to mark 49th National Day

Images transmitted by the satellite will help with response planning for natural disasters and for monitoring the UAE’s borders and coasts

Falcon Eye 2 launch

The UAE launched earth-observation satellite Falcon Eye 2 into space from the French Guiana Space Centre in South America early on Wednesday morning, to mark its 49th National Day.

The Arianespace Soyuz rocket lifted off from the launch complex in French Guiana at 5.33am UAE time, and the satellite separated 58 minutes after burns by the Fregat upper stage, official news agency WAM reported.

Equipped with a high-resolution imager, the satellite – developed for the UAE Armed Forces – is the fourth reconnaissance satellite launched by the UAE.

Fitted with an earth-observation payload, the satellite will remain in low earth orbit for 10 years, taking high quality imagery of the ground below to relay to ground control station.

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, the report said.

The images will also help with response planning for natural disasters and for monitoring the UAE’s borders and coasts.

The project began five years ago and was implemented by engineers and technicians from the UAE Armed Forces specialising in mega project management, military and space systems as well as foreign experts.

The launch of Falcon Eye 2 was delayed in the past due to technical issues, bad weather and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Its predecessor, the Falcon Eye 1 – also built for the UAE Armed Forces – was lost in space last year after the Italian Vega rocket that carried it was destroyed soon after take-off.

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