2002 News Story

Saudi Arabia to launch third satellite

The English daily 'Arab News' reported today that in a major effort to use satellites for commercial and scientific applications, Saudi Arabia is planning to launch its third satellite from a Russian rocket later this year, as part of an ambitious program currently being implemented by the Institute of Space Research at the Riyadh-based King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST). The Institute's director Prince Turki bin Saud bin Muhammad commented that the two previous satellites had been designed by Saudi scientists, and called on the private sector to invest in satellite programs and space research projects. In addition to the Institute, Saudi Arabia, the second Arab country after Egypt to launch satellites, has established a Center for Remote Sensing, and has had the honor of being admitted as a member of the prestigious United Nations committee for space research for peaceful purposes. Satellite images and data are vital for research in areas like agriculture, geology, mapping, natural disaster studies, weather conditions, and oil exploration.