Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has announced that work on the KhalifaSat, the first indigenously built satellite, is moving at a steady pace and is set to be launched later this year.
KhalifaSat is being developed in space technology laboratories in the UAE entirely by Emirati engineers, an achievement that highlights the UAE’s growing expertise in satellite technology, Emirates News Agency WAM reported.
It is the third satellite owned by MBRSC following the launch of Dubai-1 and Dubai-2, it stated.
Once the manufacture and rigorous testing phases have been completed, the satellite will be transported to Japan for launch aboard the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries rocket – H-IIA.
“Emirati engineers are the first in the Arab world to construct a satellite without foreign assistance. This is a major achievement that signifies the high level of capabilities UAE youth have acquired in space technologies,” said HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, after inspecting the progress of the KhalifaSat project.
Launched by Sheikh Mohammed in 2013, the project is part of MBRSC’s long-term strategy to encourage innovation, stimulate technological progress, promote sustainable development and create a generation of Emirati scientists and engineers who will contribute to a scientific renaissance and lead ambitious space projects over the next decade.
“The high level of expertise that Emirati scientists and engineers have developed creates a strong foundation for the future scientific and technological development of the UAE,” stated Sheikh Mohammed.
“We are confident that the nation’s space industry sector will continue its strong growth, and emerge as a key component of our economy. The development of KhalifaSat is not only a source of pride for Emiratis and Arabs, but also a global achievement that will benefit humanity, and offer scientific solutions for development globally,” he added.
Sheikh Mohammed later toured the Centre and was briefed about the advanced features of KhalifaSat, which include enhanced digital camera, satellite positioning system, faster download and communication, automatic satellite control system, and advanced target positioning system.
Once in orbit, KhalifaSat will provide detailed high-quality imagery for a variety of uses, allowing the UAE to provide competitive services across the world.