Saudi satellite put into orbit

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King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) announced Friday the successful launch of the 13th Saudi satellite (Saudi Sat-4) carried by the Russian-Ukrainian rocket named Dnepr.

KACST President Mohammed Al-Suwaiyel said in a press statement that Saudi Sat-4 would be used to conduct experiments using ultraviolet radiation in space. It was developed jointly by KACST and Stanford University.

The research involves photography and the collection of information needed by the Kingdom. It would help to produce lighter and less expensive satellites, he said.

Prince Turki bin Saud, vice president for research at the city, said the satellite was fully built by the city’s National Center for Satellite Technology at the Institute of Space and Aeronautical Research, and is equipped with a powerful ultraviolet and light-emitting diode remote sensing device.

Saudi and other engineers worked for three years to build the satellite, the prince said.

The Dnepr rocket blasted off Russia’s Dombarovsky military air base Thursday evening into Earth’s orbit carrying over 33 satellites from 17 countries including the United States.

The Dnepr rocket was developed by the space agencies of Russia and Ukraine in cooperation with the Russian Ministry of Defense.

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