The Council of Ministers has approved on Wednesday establishing a space agency aimed at scientific research following years of preparation, according to Minister of Higher Education Khaled Abdel Ghaffar.
The new law has been referred to the parliament for final agreement in hopes to expose Egypt to the world community of space technology.
According to Abdel Ghaffar’s statements in a press conference, the year 2019 will witness the establishment of the first satellite center in Egypt. Adding that, in 2020, a satellite, designed and manufactured in Egypt, will be launched to space.
The launching of the new Egyptian satellite was amongst the bundle of agreements signed with China during President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s recent participation in the 9th BRICS Summit.
According to the National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Science (NARSS), the satellite, called EgyptSat 2, will be manufactured, assembled and tested in Egypt.
Egypt has launched its first observational satellite with Ukraine in October 2007, for scientific research; however, communication with the satellite was lost.
Nevertheless, Egypt remained committed to a space vision, launching another optical imaging satellite, EgyptSat-2, in early 2014, months after President Sisi announced the launch of a space program.
The satellite, worth $US 43 million, currently provides Egypt with mapping abilities, environmental monitoring, disaster management and other capabilities.
Egypt has already launched a number of satellites for nonscientific purposes. It launched Nilesat 101 and Nilesat 102 in 1998 and 2000, respectively. These satellites now deliver more than 150 digital television channels as well as radio and multimedia services over the whole of North Africa, from Morocco to the Persian Gulf.
These satellites now deliver more than 150 digital television channels as well as radio and multimedia services over the whole of North Africa, from Morocco to the Persian Gulf.
With such big hopes and aspirations, risks to Egypt’s financial and human resources remain a concern.