After literally losing Egyptsat1, Egypt's National Authority for Remote Sensing & Space Sciences (NARSS), renews hopes with a satellite manufacturing centre in the pipelines.
Egyptsat1, the pride of Egypt's space exploration program, was launched in 2007 and subsequently lost in space three years later. The incident was partially blamed on the fact that the satellite was designed by the Ukrainian Yuzhnoye Design Bureau, and that the Egyptian engineers didn't understand Ukrainian. If Ukrainians don't succeed, import an aerospace manufacturing facility from China and do it yourself! Thats right; tomorrow, November 30th, Egypt and China are set to sign a $23.6 million contract to secure the equipment required to build the satellites that, this time, according to the Egyptian Independent, will be purely designed and assembled by Egyptian hands.
The first satellite to be built - part of a program to launch 4 or 5 by the end of 2022 - will be meant to serve scientific research and will have a space exploration age of six months. Egyptsat2, which will be the first to be made at the new facility, will serve different undisclosed purposes, with an expected space exploration age of 10 years. Hopes of setting up an Egyptian space station are not far; with the election of the new parliament, Medhat Mokhtar, head of the National Authority for Remote Sensing & Space Sciences (NARSS), hopes that the space station becomes a priority on the parliament's agenda.
The move seems positive given that the first artificial satellite ever to be launched into space was in 1957 by the Soviet Union, placing us 60 years behind in the race to space. But, no worries, if everything goes as planned we will have a total of nine or 10 spacecrafts in orbit, depending on how many satellites the new facility churns out, as we currently have five in orbit that are not made or operated by us. This leaves us 3,479 satellites behind Russia and only 2,128 satellites behind the USA, who dominate space with over 5,625 satellites in deployment combined! Let's just hope we don't lose them this time around; those things are expensive...