RIYADH (Dec 7, 2018) — China on Friday successfully sent into space 2 remote sensing satellites made in Saudi Arabia along with 10 other small satellites via a Long March 2D carrier rocket from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern Inner Mongolia region.
The satellites, Saudi SAT 5A and Saudi SAT 5B, developed by the Kingdom’s King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) were launched ihours before the launch of a Chinese lunar probe targeting the first soft landing on the far side of the moon.
Each weighing 425 kg, the two low orbit remote sensing satellites have a design life of five years. They are mainly used for high-resolution imagery of sites.
The rocket also carries 10 Chinese microsatellites and nanosatellites. This was the 293rd mission of the Long March rocket series.
“Among the 10 piggyback payloads, seven are Internet of Things technology verification satellites designed and manufactured by Beijing Commsat Technology Development Co. Ltd., and three are new technology of remote sensing experiment satellites designed and manufactured by Spacety Co. Ltd. (Changsha),” China Great Wall Industry Corp. said in a statement.
China has been developing its own satellite navigation system to rival GPS in the United States, Glonass in Russia, and Galileo in the European Union. The system includes two satellite constellations. Beijing plans to launch up to 30 Beidou-3 satellites to the orbit by the end of 2020.