SHAH ALAM, Malaysia: For less than RM2,000 you can now have a satellite image of your neighbourhood or a place of interest. The images from RazakSAT, Malaysia’s first home-grown remote sensing satellite, can be purchased from the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency from middle of this year.
Malaysia sent off RazakSAT from the Royal Malaysian Air Force Subang airfield to Kwajalein Island in the Republic of Marshall Islands, from where the satellite will be launched on April 21. RazakSAT, named after the second Prime Minister of Malaysia Tun Abdul Razak, is a mini class satellite weighing 180kg and the first remote sensing satellite in the world to be orbiting the equator.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili said the equatorial orbiting satellite would enable observations of the earth’s surface to be made more often compared with a polar orbiting satellite.
RazakSAT can revisit the same spot four to six times a day and has a 2.5m resolution. “The satellite, which cost RM150mil, is the workmanship of local scientists and engineers,” he said in a press conference after the launch of RazakSAT.
Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency director general Darus Ahmad said a committee comprising government agencies such as the military and police would vet requests for “sensitive” images.