Egypt launches first telecoms satellite Tiba 1

Ahram Online , Wednesday 27 Nov 2019

Tiba 1 will provide telecommunication and internet services to remote and isolated areas of the country

An Ariane V rocket lifts off the launchpad at the European Space Center at Kourou in French Guiana, on the November 26, 2019 AFP

Egypt has successfully launched its Tiba 1 Satellite from a space centre in French Guiana in South America at 11:22 CLT on Tuesday.

Launched by an Ariane 5 rocket,  Egypt's first telecommunication satellite was initially scheduled to launch last Friday, but the launch was postponed due to a malfunction in the power supply to the launching platform.

It was due to be launched on Monday but then was postponed for a further 24 hours.

The head of the Egyptian Space Agency, Mohamed El-Qousy, told the media that the decision to postpone the launch on Monday was due to weather conditions and the wind. 

The decision to launch the satellite on Tuesday came after intensive meetings between the French company Arianespace and a high-level Egyptian delegation at the launching base in the city of Kourou in French Guiana.

The French company briefed the Egyptian delegation on the latest in technical preparations for the launch platform after tests on the operating systems were completed.

Tiba 1 will cover all of Egypt and provide telecommunication and internet services to remote and isolated areas.

El-Qousy has previously stated that the satellite will be operational within three months of its launch.

In a statement issued later on Tuesday, the Egyptian cabinet said that the satellite represents a "cornerstone of the support for development projects."

The cabinet hailed the efforts by the consortium of Thales Alenia Space and Airbus Defence, especially the drawing up of an ambitious timetable to build the satellite and overcome several obstacles.

"It is the first Egyptian satellite orbital slot position at 35.5° East and aims to improve the telecommunication infrastructure to boost the public and commercial sectors in Egypt and several Arab and Nile basin countries," the statement added. 

The satellite is a civil and government telecommunication satellite, developed by Thales Alenia Space and Airbus Defence and Space as co-prime contractors, with Thales Alenia Space acting as the consortium’s lead partner.

It will be owned and operated by the government of Egypt.

Airbus Defence and Space supplied the platform and also assembled and tested the spacecraft. Thales Alenia Space designed and built the communications payload, which will provide broadband communications in ka band.

Tiba 1 is the fourth satellite launched by Arianespace for Egypt. It will be deployed by Arianespace into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), subsequently transitioning to its operational orbital slot position at 35.5° East.

Egypt became the first Arab country to put a telecommunications satellite into space with the launch of NileSat 101 in 1998. It was followed in 2000 by Nilesat 102, which helped distribute hundreds of satellite TV channels.

In 2007, Egypt launched EgyptSat 1, which became the first Egyptian remote-sensing satellite, and was manufactured in cooperation between Egypt’s National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (NARSS) and Ukraine’s Yuzhnoye State Design Office.

In February 2019, EgyptSat A, a remote-sensing satellite, was launched from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome, a spaceport in Kazakhstan leased to Russia. The satellite replaced the former satellite EgyptSat 2, which was launched in April 2014 and lost in February 2015, and is Egypt’s third remote-sensing satellite.

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