Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 21 October 2019

UAE satellite launch delayed by bad weather

The Falcon Eye satellite was due to launch from Guiana on Saturday

An illustration of the Falcon Eye 1 satellite in orbit. Wam
An illustration of the Falcon Eye 1 satellite in orbit. Wam

The launch of the UAE's newest satellite has been delayed due to poor weather on the eastern coast of South America.

Falcon Eye, the country's fourth reconnaissance satellite, was due to launch from Guiana Space Centre, in French Guiana, early Saturday morning but "unfavourable" high winds in the area prevented the scheduled departure.

The satellite was built by Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia, in Toulouse, France, and arrived at Guiana on Monday. It was due to be launched by Vega rocket by Arianespace, a European launch service provider.

On Friday, Arianespace said it would delay the launch until Monday July 8 at 5.53am UAE time, depending on suitable weather conditions.

"Arianespace has decided that the final preparation phase for launch operations could not be initiated as planned on Friday, July 5, 2019. Therefore, Flight VV15 is postponed," a statement from the company read. It assured that the Vega launch vehicle and the satellite spacecraft payload were in stable and safe condition.

FalconEye1, which will become the UAE's 10th in orbit, will provide images of the earth for military and civilian use for the next 10 years to “strengthen national security”.

It has a high-definition imaging system and a mobile station capable of sending and receiving images from any region around the world.

Monday's launch date can be watched live on the Arianespace website or YouTube channel. The stream will begin 15 minutes before lift-off.

Updated: July 6, 2019 01:11 PM

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