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Moscow, Riyadh in Talks on Satellite Launch from Saudi Arabia’s Soil

Monday 14 October 2019

RIYADH (TASS) — Russia and Saudi Arabia are holding talks on launching a satellite from the kingdom’s soil, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund Kirill Dmitriev told reporters on Monday.

“Space and high technologies are certainly [being discussed]. There is also an interesting project on launching the satellite from Saudi Arabia’s territory to the orbit, using interesting Russian technologies”, the head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to pay a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Monday. Some 30 documents are expected to be signed, including both interdepartmental and commercial agreements. The RDIF has announced plans on inking deals with Saudi companies to the tune of more than $2 bln, including deals on space cooperation.

Why launching rockets from Arabia peninsula?
When a spacecraft is launched into orbit, it should end up spinning around the Earth quickly enough not to be pulled back in by the Earth’s gravity. The huge rockets used in launching a spaceship help this to happen by giving a huge amount of thrust, enough to achieve escape velocity. However,

The spin of the Earth itself can help give a rocket a supplemental push. Anything on the surface of the Earth at the equator is already moving at 1670 km/h. If a ship is launched from the equator it goes up into space, and it is also moving around the Earth at the same speed it was moving before launching. This is because of inertia. This speed will help the spacecraft keep up a good enough speed to stay in orbit.


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