23:35 GMT +316 July 2019
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    This photograph taken on June 16, 2014 shows the display booth of Arianespace, the European satellite launch company at the CommunicAsia and BroadcastAsia exhibition in Singapore

    UAE’s Airbus-Developed Spy Satellite Crashes Into Atlantic After ‘Major Anomaly’ on Vega Rocket

    © AFP 2019 / ROSLAN RAHMAN
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    2100

    The cutting-edge Falcon Eye satellites fall under Abu Dabhi’s operational remit and are "expected to add enormous potential”, daily providing “the centre” with high-resolution photos from orbit.

    A United Arab Emirates’ military spy satellite, carried by a 98-foot European Vega rocket, failed after a “major anomaly” occurred during the rocket launch from France’s overseas department of French Guiana in South America late on Wednesday.

    The mission, codenamed VV15 and operated by the French provider Arianespace, failed minutes after the rocket took off, spiralling off its course and falling into the Atlantic Ocean, Space Flight Now reported.

    Luce Fabreguettes, the French operating company’s spokesperson, apologised over the incident, which saw the crash and destruction of the Airbus-developed Falcon Eye 1, and the loss of its customer’s “payload” that the satellite was carrying.

    The failed launch was the third attempt to proceed with the Vega mission, with two previous ones cancelled earlier this month due to inappropriate weather conditions.

    The Falcon Eye satellites are formally overseen and operated by Abu Dhabi’s Space Reconnaissance Centre (SRC) and are expected to “add enormous potential once in orbit at an altitude of 611km to provide the centre with hundreds of high-resolution images on a daily basis".

    The satellites are fitted with top-notch Thales optics, which is capable of making close-up shots and having an Earth resolution of down to 70 centimetres.

    The UAE earlier initiated the creation of the so-called Arab Space Cooperation Group, which comprises UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan, and Kuwait, against the backdrop of rising tensions in the area.

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