NexSat-1 Satellite Launched by Egypt from China


On February 5, 2024, the Egyptian Space Agency (EgSA) successfully put its NexSat-1 satellite into orbit. The launch was made possible using China’s compact orbital launch vehicle, Jielong-3 (Smart Dragon-3), and communications between the EgSA and the satellite were promptly established. The microsatellite has a mass of 67 kilograms and is equipped with a panchromatic imaging payload that can achieve ground resolution up to 5.7 meters.

EgSA’s CEO, Dr Sherif Sedky, unveiled the launch, which took place on February 3rd, 2024, from Yangjiang in Guangdong province, China. Dr Sedky highlighted that the agency’s ground control located at its headquarters was able to connect with the spacecraft immediately and successfully.

The NexSat-1 is a significant achievement for Egypt as it is the country’s first domestically developed experimental satellite. The project was a collaboration with Berlin Space Technologies (BST) GmbH. The Egyptian side was responsible for crucial tasks like developing onboard software, functional testing of satellite subsystems, assembly integration, and conducting spacecraft structural and environmental tests. Over 60 engineers and experts in satellite technology were part of the Egyptian team.

The launch of NexSat-1 marks a key milestone in Egypt’s national satellite program. It also indicates an important step towards the domestication of microsatellite technology in Egypt, including design, software development, functional testing/assembly, and integration of spacecraft. EgSA believes that these advancements are a precursor to future domestic microsatellite production. This could help Egypt achieve sustainability goals and generate economic value by providing services to customers.

Moreover, Egypt has recently strengthened its partnership with China in the sphere of space exploration. This was formalized through EgSA’s involvement in the China-led International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) program. Dr Sedky officially signed the partnership agreement with the director of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), Zhang Kejian, in Beijing on December 6, 2023.



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