Neither Israel–nor any other country other than Egypt–has the ability to assume control of Egypt's EgySat 1 satellite, Ayman al-Dessouky, head of the state-run National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences, said on Sunday.
The 17-kg satellite was recently lost in space and remains incommunicado.
Speaking on a televised talk show, al-Dessouky explained that the satellite was operated by a team of 120 controllers, 20 of whom had recently left the station to work for other satellite networks.
“They were all trained by Ukrainian experts who handed over management of the station in 2009,” he said. “We won't pay the Ukrainians the rest of their fees unless they succeed in finding the satellite within 15 days.”
Since its launch, the satellite has transmitted data, images and maps worth some LE100 million, al-Dessouky added.
“The most important of these were the locations of pirates in the Gulf of Aden that had been requested by the Ukrainian government,” he said.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.