China launched another orbital mission from its Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center using a Long March-2D/YZ-3 (Chang Zheng-2D/YZ-3) launch vehicle on Friday orbiting several satellites along with primary payloads SaudiSAT-5A/B. Launch took place at 04:12 UTC from Launch Pad 94 of the LC34 Launch Complex.
At the time it is not known the identity of all the satellites launched on this mission and that were ride companions of the two SaudiSAT-5 satellites. Developed by KACST (King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology), the SaudiSAT-5A and SaudiSAT-5B satellites are Earth observation and technological demonstration satellites from Saudi Arabia.
The satellites are equipped with an optimized regional hyper-spectral observation system, each satellite having a mass of 200 kg at launch.
The development of the two SaudiSAT-5 satellites resulted from an agreement between the governments of Saudi Arabia and Belarus that is part of a larger effort by Riyadh to build up capacities and the capacity to build their own satellites. This agreement was signed on May 16, 2016, during a visit by representatives of Saudi Arabia to Minsk.
The SaudiSAT-5 team
The agreement for the launch of these satellites was signed between Saudi Arabia and China in January 2016 during a visit by ...