EgyptSat 2


EgyptSat 2
EgyptSat 2.jpg
Mission typeRemote sensing
COSPAR ID2014-021A[1][2]
SATCAT no.39678[2]
Mission durationPlanned: 11 years[3]
Final: 363 days
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerRSC Energia[4]
Launch mass1,050 kilograms (2,310 lb)[1][5]
Power3000 watts[3][6]
Start of mission
Launch dateApril 16, 2014, 16:20 (2014-04-16UTC16:20Z) UTC[6]
Launch siteBaikonur 31/6
End of mission
Last contactApril 14, 2015 (2015-04-14)
Orbital parameters
Perigee altitude436 kilometres (271 mi)
Apogee altitude703 kilometres (437 mi)
Inclination51.6 degrees
Period96.05 min
Epoch17 April 2014, 04:55 UTC[2]
NameEgyptSat 2
Resolution1 metre (3 ft 3 in) (Pan)[4]
4 metres (13 ft) (MS)[4]

EgyptSat 2 (also called MisrSat 2) was Egypt's second remote sensing Earth observation satellite. It was built by the Russian RSC Energia and the Egyptian NARSS while the incorporated cameras and payload was developed by OAO Peleng and NIRUP Geoinformatsionnye Sistemy in Belarus.[1][4]

A frameless spacecraft had been utilized in EgyptSat 2; it was an innovative technology being first time used in Russia.[7][8]

EgyptSat 2 was launched on board a Soyuz-U rocket on 16 April 2014 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome[9] which was a milestone toward establishing the Egyptian Space Agency.[10]


EgyptSat 2 was planned to be launched on October 1, 2013 but the launch was put on hold in 2011[2] following all contact being lost with EgyptSat 1 due to a failure of its S-Band communication system.[11]


In 2007, Egypt made its first attempt to launch a high-resolution surveillance satellite launching the Ukrainian-made EgyptSat 1, but the satellite failed prematurely after 3 years. However, Egypt continued working with Yuzhnoye Design Bureau for the next project, until it received a bid from Russia to supply a state-of-the-art "eye in the sky". Negotiations lasted for more than four years until Egypt awarded the contract to Russia for the development of a high-resolution imaging satellite.

The project was handled by RKK Energia based on Korolev on the behalf of Russia, codenamed "E-Star".[12] 60 percent of the satellite's hardware was made by Egypt.[13] Russia also trained Egyptian engineers to control the satellite from a ground station near Cairo. The cost of the project was rumored to be around 40 million dollar fully funded by the Egyptian Armed Forces.[12]

The spacecraft was shipped to Baikonur in February 2014 and was launched on April 16, 2014.

EgyptSat 2 was launched into an orbit inclined 51.6 degrees toward the Equator which means it was only covering areas between 51.6 latitude North in the Northern Hemisphere and 51.6 degrees South latitude in the Southern Hemisphere, which covered the Egyptian territory, but did not cover vast regions of the planet in both hemispheres.[14]


EgyptSat 2 was a hexagonal satellite, equipped with three deployable, fixed solar arrays and nickel-hydrogen batteries, and its optical imaging payload covered the visible and infrared spectral bands, providing a ground resolution of 13.1 feet (four meters) for multispectral imagery and 3.3 feet (one meter) for panchromatic imagery. The satellite's coverage included total coverage of Egypt's land and maritime territory and their environs.[13]

A new and revolutionary technology had been demonstrated first time, as EgyptSat 2 became the first frameless spacecraft created in Russia and the first satellite created by such technology in the history of Russian cosmonautics. The frameless base technology reduces the final assembly of the satellite from six months with several trained professionals and special equipment, to 10 minutes with only two experts, which in turn minimizes effort, time and costs while not compromising the quality of the final product.[7][8]


The satellite was supposed to supply the Egyptian government with high-resolution views of Earth for environmental, scientific and military applications.[9] Data was transmitted through an X-band communications terminal at a rate of 300-600 Mbit/s to ground stations located near Cairo and Aswan.[13]

According to Tal Dekel, a research fellow at Tel Aviv University’s Yuval Ne’eman Workshop for Science, Technology and Security, few were aware of the extent of Egypt’s satellite program and the satellite was disguised as scientific research but in truth it would be used by the Egyptian Armed Forces as a spying satellite.[12]

EgyptSat 2 acquired its first images on April 30, that released by RSC Energia showing Taylor Bay and Melbourne, Australia.[6]

EgyptSat 2 circularised its orbit at about 720 kilometers height using an electric propulsion system. The operation completed in August 2014.[4]

The total cost of the mission was about $40 million.[4][15]

Assumed lost and end of mission

On April 14, 2015, the EgyptSat 2 was unresponsive to commands from the Earth and control over the satellite was lost due to a human factor as the main possible cause according to the Russian Izvestiya newspaper, citing a source in the RSC Energia.[16] While the National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (NARSS) insisted that EgyptSat 2 is still recoverable,[17] as the head of NARSS Medhat Mokhtar said, "What was reported about is in fact a regular technical failure. It happens every now and then to all the satellites. The problem will be fixed in the next few hours," explaining that, "any failure in control of satellite begins with absence of response to commands from Earth, and the low battery could be the problem, but it will be fixed and control will be fully restored."[citation needed]

EgyptSat 2 has experienced few problems since December 2014, as it lost some of the battery capacity,[17] also on mid-April 2015, EgyptSat 2 had an attitude control issues, then a failure of the primary and backup computer of the satellite had occurred within 15 seconds of each other and no official information was released by the satellite's operator or manufacturer.[18]

Insurance payout from the loss largely paid for the manufacture and launch in February 2019 of the EgyptSat-A replacement satellite.[19][20]

See also

External media
image icon EgyptSat 2 satellite with Soyuz-U rocket Russia launches spy satellite for Egypt. russianspaceweb. 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
video icon Transportation of Soyuz-U rocket with EgyptSat 2 to the launch pad and final preparations Вывоз РКН Союз-У с КА EgyptSat 2 [Removal of the Soyuz-U space rocket with spacecraft EgyptSat 2]. Телестудия Роскосмоса. 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
video icon Launch of Soyuz-U rocket with EgyptSat 2 on-board Пуск РКН Союз-У с КА EgyptSat 2 [Start of the Soyuz-U space rocket with spacecraft EgyptSat 2]. Телестудия Роскосмоса. 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2014.


  1. ^ a b c d "EgyptSat 2 (MisrSat 2)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d "2014 - Launches to Orbit and Beyond". Zarya Soviet, Russian and international space flight. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  3. ^ a b "EgyptSat-2 (MisrSat-2) spacecraft launch". Center for Operation of Space Ground-Based Infrastructure. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Anatoly Zak (25 April 2015). "EgyptSat-2 spy satellite". Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Satellite: EgyptSat-2". Observing Systems Capability Analysis and Review Tool. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  6. ^ a b c "Soyuz-U - EgyptSat-2 Launch Updates". spaceflight101. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Technology has helped reduce satellite assembly time". Rostec. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  8. ^ a b «РТ-Химкомпозит» сократил срок сборки космических аппаратов. РТ-Химкомпозит (in Russian). 18 April 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Egyptian reconnaissance satellite launched by Soyuz". spaceflightnow. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  10. ^ "Egyptsat-2 a Step Towards Egyptian Space Agency". allafrica. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  11. ^ "EgyptSat 1 (MisrSat 1)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  12. ^ a b c YAAKOV LAPPIN. "Egypt struggles for spy satellite program progress". Jerusalem Post.
  13. ^ a b c "EgyptSat-2 Ready to Launch Wednesday Atop Soyuz-U Booster". America Space.
  14. ^ Zak, Anatoly (5 April 2019). "EgyptSat-A enters orbit after a close-call Soyuz launch". Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  15. ^ Barensky, Stefan (17 April 2014). "Un satellite d'observation russe pour l'Egypte". Air et Cosmos (in French). Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  16. ^ "Communication with EgyptSat 2 satellite lost: Russian newspaper". The Cairo Post. Cairo. Youm7. 24 April 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  17. ^ a b Todd, David (28 April 2015). "Egyptsat 2 still not recovered after "loss of control"". Seradata. Russia. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  18. ^ "EgyptSat-2 Earth Observation Satellite faces potentially Fatal Problems". spaceflight101. 4 May 2015. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  19. ^ Clark, Stephen (21 February 2019). "Egyptian observation satellite launched by Russian rocket". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  20. ^ Zak, Anatoly (22 February 2019). "EgyptSat-A enters orbit after a close-call Soyuz launch". Retrieved 23 February 2019.