Saudi Arabia launched two Saudi-designed satellites into space for aerial surveying on Friday morning from China.

The two earth-observation satellites that were developed by the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) were launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

The satellites, known as Sat 5a and Saudi Sat 5b, join the second generation of Saudi Arabia’s high-accuracy remote-sensing satellites.

The satellites will be used to provide high-resolution images of the planet’s surface from low earth orbits, help with urban planning, monitor movements and changes on the earth’s surface, and provide government agencies with services, in particular, high-resolution images.

KACST has so far launched 13 satellites, has collaborated with China in the Chang’e 4 mission to explore the far side of the moon; provided advanced services for remote-sensing systems; and has participated in the launch of an advanced system for maritime monitoring and tracking with satellite data, which includes daily coverage of 30,000 vessels across the world.

The launch of the two new satellites is in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which aims to nationalize strategic technologies in Saudi Arabia, maximize local content, and empower Saudi youth to develop advanced technologies in the field of satellite development and construction.

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