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CAIRO – 18 February 2019: Hussein al-Shafei, head of the Egyptian-Russian Foundation for Culture and Science and advisor to the Russian Space Agency, said that the Egyptian satellite EgyptSat-A will be launched from the Russian Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome on Thursday, February 21.
In an interview with the Middle East News Agency (MENA) Shafei said that the Egyptian satellite, which was manufactured through joint efforts by Egypt and Russia, will replace the satellite which was lost in February 2015 after its launch on April 16, 2014.
Egypt lost EgyptSat 2, which is the second remote-sensing satellite, in April 2015. EgyptSat 2 did not respond to commands from Earth and control over the satellite was lost. The satellite was taking pictures of the planet in the visible and infrared spectrum with panchromatic and multispectral modes.
The launch of the satellite from Baikonur, the largest launch base, will be broadcast live through Kazakhstan television and the Russian Energia, he said. The base is run by Russia through a special agreement with Kazakhstan until 2050, he added.
He referred that the new satellite has a larger memory capacity than the lost one.
In late 2017, Shafei said that the new satellite is specialized for photography, hoping that it will meet Egypt’s needs in terms of images to draw a development plan and preserve borders.
He further remarked that EgyptSat-A has the same specifications of the previous Egyptian satellite that was lost earlier.
He concluded that Egyptian-Russian relations are strong and strategic. Russia has committed to manufacturing the satellite at the expense of the insurance coverage of the lost satellite.
The Egyptian government approved a law to establish an Egyptian Space Agency on September 27, 2017. Egypt is set to launch another satellite by 2021, in collaboration with China.