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UAE to launch indigenous satellite in 2017

DUBAI, Dec. 30 — The United Arab Emirates (UAE) vice president and prime minister ordered here on Sunday the executive phase for building the first satellite whose parts are solely produced in the Gulf Arab oil state and planned to be placed in orbit by 2017, local news agency WAM reported.

The first UAE-made satellite will be called Khali Sat, named after UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. According to the report, the project would catapult the Arab region into a new era of space industry and competition in space sciences."

While launching the promising project at the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST), UAE prime minister Sheikh Mohammed said "Khalifa Sat is a message to all Arabs that Arab ushering into the space era is neither out of reach nor impossible and our State will be a leader in this industry as long as we have the confidence and courage to enter into competition with major countries in this field."

The prime minister invited the Arab nations to co-operate with EIAST. "Our doors will remain open for cooperation with all Arab countries in space technology and engineering," said Sheikh Mohammed who is also the ruling emir of Dubai.

The report did not reveal for which purposes the first indigenous satellite would be produced.

Earlier in the year on Oct. 18, Salem Al-Marri, the assistant director general for scientific and technical affairs told the UAE daily The National, his country would be ready in early 2015 to build its own satellite.

EIAST was set up in 2016 by the UAE government. Eiast already put DubaiSat-1 in orbit which is used to take detailed images of the UAE which consists of seven emirates located at the southwestern coastline of the Arab peninsula.

A second satellite, DubaiSat-2, was launched from Yasny Cosmodrome in Russia on Nov. 21, 2013. The development costs were around 50 million dollars (Dh183m) per satellite, Al Marri said.(PNA/Xinhua)

LAM/JSD

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