By Andy Sambidge
Al Yahsat Satellite Communications Company CEO plans second launch by the end of 2011
The first satellite to be launched by Abu Dhabi will blast off from France on March 30 and will serve military, civilian and commercial purposes.
Mohammed Al Za'abi, CEO of the Al Yahsat Satellite Communications Company, also said that the second of the two hybrid satellites to be sent to the orbit by the company will be launched by the end of 2011, news agency WAM reported.
YahSat, which is a part of Mubadala Development Company, an investment arm of the Abu Dhabi Government, announced its plans last year to launch the satellites which are designed to provide communication facilities to commercial and governmental users.
The satellite communications programme that could cost $1.6 billion aims to open new avenues of business opportunities in the country.
The satellite will serve military networks, rural communications, border control services and emergencies and disaster relief agencies.
The satellite will cover a population that crosses one billion in 46 countries in Middle East, Africa, Europe and West Asia, WAM added.