A Long March-2C carrier rocket carrying satellite MISRSAT-2 blasts off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, Dec. 4, 2023. China helped Egypt send a remote-sensing satellite into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China Monday. Remote sensing satellites Starpool 02-A and Starpool 02-B were also sent into space at the same time. Photo Xinhua
According to the EgSA, the launch took place at exactly noon on 4 December 2023, from China.
“This accomplishment is part of the agreement for technical and economic cooperation between the two sides,” said the EgSA, adding that a team of Egyptian engineers from the agency collaborated with a team of Chinese experts in every stage of the satellite's design and manufacturing.
The Egyptian team successfully executed the complete components of the satellite, marking Egypt's first domestically produced space product, it added, saying that it represents a significant step in line with the Egyptian vision to localize advanced industries.
The MisrSat-2, also known as EgyptSat 2, was built using China's $92 million grant in February 2022. With Chinese cooperation, it was assembled and tested at EgSA’s Satellite Assembly, Integration, and Testing Centre (AITC).
AITC, the largest of its kind in Africa and the Middle East, was established within the framework of the strategic partnership between Egypt and China, EgSA said.
The EgyptSat-2 serves Egypt’s sustainable development goals by utilizing space technology to enhance vital areas, including agriculture, exploration of mineral resources, identification of surface water sources, and studying the impacts of climate change on the environment.
This also supports the Egyptian economy and reinforces Egypt's leading role by providing targeted training programs for specialized personnel in Africa and the Middle East, along with supplying them with spatial data, the agency added.
MisrSat-2 is the latest satellite Egypt launched.
In 1998, Egypt was the first Arab country to launch a telecommunications satellite into space, known as NileSat 101. This groundbreaking feat was followed by the launch of NileSat 102 in 2000, a satellite that played a crucial role in distributing hundreds of satellite TV channels.
In 2007, Egypt introduced EgyptSat 1, marking the country's first remote-sensing satellite. This achievement was a collaboration between Egypt's National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (NARSS) and Ukraine's Yuzhnoye State Design Office.
In 2019, Egypt faced and overcame technical challenges to successfully launch the Tiba 1 telecommunications satellite after two postponements.
June 2022 witnessed another significant achievement as Egypt launched Nilesat 301, a multi-purpose communications satellite, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, for providing expanded broadband internet services covering Egypt.
In February 2023, Egypt celebrated the successful launch of the Horus 1 satellite from northwest China’s launch base. This satellite, equipped with a high-quality camera, is aligned with Egypt's development goals.
In March 2023, Egypt continued its strides in space exploration by launching its second remote-sensing satellite, Horus 2, from China. The objective was to enhance the utilization of Egypt's natural resources and stimulate exports.
Looking ahead, the NExSat-1, a remote-sensing microsatellite designed for urban planning, is anticipated to be launched from China in late 2023. Egypt's NARSS collaborated with Berlin Space Technologies (BST) in the construction of this satellite.