The UAE and 11 Arab nations have launched the first Arab Space Coordination Group to develop an advanced satellite to monitor earth, environment and climate.

The Arab Space Coordination Group will develop the new 813 multi-spectral satellite to monitor the Earth and measure the environmental and climatic elements in several Arab countries, according to the UAE Space Agency.

It will also be used to monitor vegetation, soil types, minerals and water sources, measuring greenhouse gases, pollution and dust levels.

The 11 countries involved in the programme include Jordan, Bahrain, Morocco and Egypt.

UAE vice-president and Prime Minister Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum said: “Today, at the Global Space Congress in Abu Dhabi, we attended the signing of a charter to establish the first Arab body for space cooperation, bringing together 11 Arab states.

“We are currently working on the Emirates Mars Mission, the first exploration mission to be conducted by an Arab and Islamic nation to Mars.”

“A few months ago, we launched the first satellite fully developed by UAE citizens, and we are currently working on the Emirates Mars Mission, the first exploration mission to be conducted by an Arab and Islamic nation to Mars.”

The latest announcement comes after a charter was signed to establish the Arab Space Coordination Group at the Global Space Congress.

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Funded by the UAE Space Agency, the new satellite will be designed and manufactured by Arab engineers at the National Space Science and Technology Center facilities located at the United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain.

The satellite development will be carried out for a period of three years. With a polar orbit of 600km, it will have a five-year lifespan.

A ground station in the UAE and receiving stations in a number of Arab countries will obtain the data.

UAE Space Agency director-general Dr Mohammed Al Ahbabi said that the satellite aims to address global climate and environmental issues.