The EgyptSat-A spacecraft has been launched from Kazakhstan's 'Baikonur Cosmodrome' space port, according to Egypt’s National television.
Egypt’s third Earth Observation (EO) satellite was launched via a Soyuz-2-1b/Fregat rocket following the EgyptSat-1 spacecraft that was launched in 2007 and EgyptSat 2 launched in 2014. According to statement issued by the Cabinet’s Information Center, the satellite will be replacing the EgyptSat 2 EO satellite, which failed on-orbit in 2015.
The satellite, which cost approximately $100 million, weighs more than a ton, fully fueled. EgyptSat-A incorporated several improvements over the EgyptSat 2 design, including improved solar batteries and a high-speed radio link with ground stations.
EgyptSat-A, which arrived to its designated orbital slot 11 minutes after launching, is expected to serve the environmental and agricultural sectors in Egypt. Compared to EgyptSat-2, EgyptSat-A incorporates modernized electrical and flight control systems, an improved imaging payload, a higher-throughput communications system and more efficient solar arrays.
EgyptSat-A also benefits from being launched by a more powerful carrier rocket, that allowed the satellite to be placed into SSO that's more suited to Earth imaging than the lower-inclination orbit into which EgyptSat-2 operated.
The EgyptSat-A Earth’s remote sensing satellite was developed by the Russian Energia Space Rocket Corporation along with Egypt’s National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (NARSS).