Latest UAE satellite to launch on Tuesday after lightning delays first attempt

Falcon Eye 2 will launch from a site in French Guiana

The UAE's latest satellite, Falcon Eye 2, is scheduled to launch on Tuesday after bad weather caused the launch on Monday to be postponed.

Launch provider Arianespace said it would target a 5.33am lift-off UAE time from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana.

The risk of in-flight lightning caused the first launch attempt to be called off, officials said during a live stream.

Falcon Eye 2 is the twin version of Falcon Eye 1, which was lost last year when the Italian-made Vega rocket carrying it failed six minutes after lift-off.

The satellite will orbit Earth for the next 10 years and will provide high-definition images from around the world for military and civilian use.

“We have to monitor the weather until the last minute and we have risk of in-flight lightning,” said Stephane Israel, chief executive of Arianespace, which has its headquarters in France.

“Unfortunately, because of this risk it is not possible to fly tonight. No problem – we are going to wait until tomorrow at the same hour. The satellite will be put on safe mode.”

The launch was called off three minutes and 54 seconds before lift-off.

A Russian Soyuz rocket will be carrying the satellite into space.

The Falcon Eye satellites project is overseen by the UAE Space Agency. Both were built by Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia, in Toulouse, France.

After the Vega rocket failed to deliver Falcon Eye 1 into space last year, the UAE Space Agency opted to use the Soyuz – which sent Emirati astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri to space last year – for the second satellite.

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