Decks cleared for launch of Es’hailSat

by Staff Reporter | April 8th, 2013

The decks are clear for Qatar to execute its ambitious satellite project ‘Eshail’ announced early 2012,  with the country joining the United Nations Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space, according to a report published in Qatar-based The Peninsula.

The word ‘Eshail’ is derived from the Arabic root word ‘Suhayl’ which means Canopus or the bright star Alpha in the southern constellation Argo.

The Emir, H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, issued a Decree (No 14 of 2013), approving Qatar joining the UN Convention (XXIX) of 1974. The decree will have the status of law, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reports.

In 2010, EshailSat inked a contract with Space Systems / Loral to build Eshail 1 which will share a spacecraft platform with the European satellite operator Eutelsat. Eshail 1 will reportedly provide television, internet, corporate, and government services in expanding markets across the Middle East, North Africa and beyond.

The selection of Arianespace to deliver Eshail 1 into orbit marks a step forward, the operator claims, in the EshailSat programme to invest in and operate a high-performance satellite at 25.5° East, a well-established orbital position for television broadcast services.

The new satellite will reportedly provide further Ku-band resources for television broadcasting and will also mark the start of Ka-band services, opening up new business opportunities for EshailSat and their customers, according to details posted on the website of ictQATAR, the country’s telecom sector regulator. The six-tonne satellite will be launched from Arianespace’s space port in Kourou, French Guyana, on the east coast of South America.

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