Russia’s first satellite launch of 2019 will take place Thursday, with a Soyuz-2-1b/Fregat rocket slated to lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 23:47 local time (16:47 UTC) carrying the EgyptSat-A spacecraft.
EgyptSat-A is a high-resolution Earth observation satellite developed by Russian corporation RKK Energia on behalf of Egypt’s National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (NARSS). The satellite carries a multispectral imaging payload based on that flown aboard a previous satellite, EgyptSat-2, which could take pictures of the surface at resolutions of up to 4 metres (13 feet), or 1 metre (3 feet) when operating in panchromatic mode – combining all wavelengths of light into a single monochrome image.
RKK Energia’s 559GK bus serves as the basis for the EgyptSat-A satellite, which has a hexagonal prism shape with three deployable solar panels and SPD-70 xenon-ion thrusters for on-orbit maneuvering. The satellite’s mass is likely around 1,000 kilograms (2,200 lb) – similar to its predecessor EgyptSat-2.
EgyptSat-A is an evolution of the EgyptSat-2 spacecraft which launched in April 2014. Also built around Energia’s 559GK platform, EgyptSat-2 was expected to operate for eleven years but was declared a total loss after the failure of both its primary and secondary onboard ...