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UAE's Falcon 1 satellite launch. Image Credit: YouTube screenshot

Abu Dhabi: The UAE’s fourth reconnaissance satellite the ‘Falcon Eye 1’ was launched into space on Thursday at the French Guiana Space Centre at 5.53am UAE time.

Watch the live launch here:

The decision was made after announcing that the weather conditions have improved over the French Guiana Space Centre on the north Atlantic coast of South America.

The ‘Falcon Eye 1’ satellite blast-off had been postponed twice due to bad weather conditions over the space centre.

The Falcon Eye 1 satellite is a high performance optical Earth-observation satellite system. It was manufactured for the Armed Forces of the UAE (UAEAF) by the Airbus Defence and Space as prime contractor and Thales Alenia Space as co-prime.

A second satellite identical to the first called Falcon Eye 2 is scheduled for launch this year.

Both satellites are in Sun-synchronous orbit at 611km above Earth, which means it travel from pole to pole to take images as the Earth rotates.

The satellite features a very-high-resolution optical capabilities of 70cm resolution across 20km swathe. It also has a ground system for monitoring, receiving and processing the images.

Emirati engineers will control and operate the 1,197kg-satellite once in orbit.

Airbus Defence and Space was in charge of the satellite design, integration and tests, and supplied the platform. The Falcon Eye programme is part of the previous French national satellite programmes such as the Pleiades.