News Saudi Arabia

Exploring the Future: A Look at the Recent Satellites Launched by KSA

Satellites launched by the KSA

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has made significant strides in developing its space program in recent years. The Saudi Arabian government has set a goal to become a leading space nation by 2030 and has invested heavily in space technology to achieve this objective. KSA’s space program has focused on various areas such as Earth observation, communications, research, and education.

One of the primary objectives of the KSA space program is to develop advanced communication systems that can serve the needs of the country and its neighboring regions. To this end, the country has launched several micro and communication satellites like SaudiSat (A, B, C), SaudiComsat (1 – 7), and SGS-1 (manufactured and tested by Lockheed Martin in collaboration with KACST). These satellites provide telecommunications and internet services to users in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.

Another critical area of focus for the KSA space program is Earth observation. The country has launched several high-resolution imaging satellites like ShaheenSat , SaudiSat (3, 5A and 5B) that can capture detailed images of the Earth’s surface for various applications such as mapping, agriculture, urban planning, disaster response, and environmental monitoring. Both (ShaheenSat and SaudiSat) were produced by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology.

The KSA space program has also developed miniaturized satellites for scientific research, technology demonstration, and educational purposes – SaudiSat-4 (National Satellite Technology Center at KACST), CubeSat (manufactured by King Saud University).

In conclusion, the KSA space program has made impressive progress in recent years, with a focus on developing communication and Earth observation systems. With its ambitious goals and significant investment, the KSA is poised to become a major player in the global space industry in the coming years.

Satellite NamePurposeMassOrbit/AltitudesDate
SaudiSat 1A and SaudiSat 1BCommunications10 kg625 km2000
SaudiSat 1CRadio communications payload10 kg625 km2002
SaudiSat 2Earth observation imagery35 kg696 km2004
SaudiComsat-1 and SaudiComsat-2Asset tracking and Data forwarding (micro-communications)12 kglow orbit2004
SaudiSat-3Imaging systems (Urban planning, Anticipating flood risks)200 kg655 km × 678 km2007
Data forwarding satellites SaudiComsat 3-4-5-6-7Data receiving system for commercial vessel tracking (micro-communications)12 kglow orbit2007
SaudiSat-4Research (physics experiments)100 kg613 km × 681 km2014
Chang’e 4 mission to explore the far side of the moonEarth observation imageryN/A650 km – 450 km2018
SaudiSat-5A and SaudiSat-5BPhotoelectric imaging systems425 kg533 km × 551 km2018
Saudi communications satellite SGS-1Establishing a high-speed communication
network (Ka-Band)
6495 kg; 3950 kg (dry)GEO2019
ShaheenSatEarth observation imagery + Vessel tracking75 kgN/A2021
CubeSatResearch (imagery, studying magnetic fields, or surveying wildlife)1 kgN/A2021



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