In a new scientific achievement, and a unique one of its type at the Arab and Islamic level, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the People’s Republic of China have co-shared a rare trip to explore the invisible side of the moon closely as part of its growing interest to discover the remote space, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
The cooperation between Riyadh and Beijing comes in implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding concluded between the two countries during the visit of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to China on 16 March 2017, which laid the foundation for cooperation with the Chinese Space Agency to explore the moon.
The Saudi participation within the Chinese Space Agency was reflected in building and developing a payload for space censoring system aiming to film and take photos of the moon. The payload was readied in a record time of no more than 12 months during which the Saudi research team faced numerous challenges, most prominent of which was the importance of manufacturing a compact payload with a high capacity of less than 10.5 cubic cm and a weight of no more than 630 grams on the Chinese satellite.
The joint venture between Saudi Arabia and China aims at studying and exploring the moon, particularly the invisible side of it to provide the scientific data for researchers and specialist in the space research and science.
To mark the occasion, Dr. Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed (photo), President of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, extended thanks and gratitude to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and his HRH the Crown Prince for the great interest and care of the sector of research, development and innovation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, citing the unlimited support KACST enjoys to promote its experience and capabilities in different fields.
He confirmed that Saudi Arabia’s taking part in this great event would boost, no doubt, its efforts to develop its satellite technologies and use it in several fields of reconnaissance and distance censoring as well as space telecommunications, in addition to proceeding with the march of catching the world race in this field.
He said the payload consists photographic units, data processing, the mediator between the satellite systems and the payload system which was characterized by a light weight and ability to endure the space environment and taking photos from different angles and altitudes at a strictness accuracy that varies according to the lunar orbit changes from 38 m to 88 m at 300km - 9000 km altitudes, restoring and processing them.
He said KACST has scored success in developing those systems through a specialized task team of a host of Saudi engineers and researchers who contributed to the designing and manufacturing the lunar filming payload system at the city’s labs.
Prince Turki bin Saud noted that the city follows a systematic approach according to the national system for science and technology to reach the state-of-the-arts levels in these diversified sciences, including the Saudi space field which covers satellites and their applications, exploration of space, establishing an advanced space program to match with the Kingdom’s vision 2030.