KhalifaSat to be fired into orbit before the end of the year

The first satellite fully developed in the UAE by a team of Emirati engineers, KhalifaSat, will be launched into orbit before the end of the year.

Director-general of the UAE Space Agency, Dr Mohamed Nasser Al Ahbabi, stated that the satellite will be fired from the ground station in Japan aboard the rocket, H-IIA.

He also disclosed in an interview with state news agency WAM that, “The UAE Space Agency is planning to launch another satellite dedicated to educational and research purposes in the coming few months.”

He added that, once these launches are completed, the UAE will have 10 multi-purpose satellites, raising the UAE investment in the space sector to AED22 billion.

He stated to WAM, “KhalifaSat marks a critical milestone in the nature and form of the UAE’s investment in the space industry. KhalifaSat is a source of inspiration for Emirati generations because it is the first satellite to be fully manufactured in the UAE. It is considered one of the first productions of the advanced technology industry in the UAE. KhalifaSat will usher the UAE into the space manufacturing sector.”

KhalifaSat will give high-quality detailed imagery for several uses. Al Ahbabi also disclosed that the UAE’s intention to formulate a pan-Arab alliance for space.

He added that, “We have held coordinating and consultative meetings with representatives of specialised agencies and universities in six Arab countries to lay the groundwork and kernel of the alliance, whose prime mandate is to assist Arab countries to develop their space sector and establish national space agencies as a prelude to create a space science knowledge transfer mechanism and launch national space strategies.”

On the recent developments regarding the Hope Probe, he mentioned that work is progressing as planned on sending the first Arab probe to Mars from Japan by 2020.

He also told that the UAE is looking forward to become a regional centre for space science and technology by forging constructive partnerships with international organisations.

He even revealed, “So far, we have signed 25 agreements with major international space agencies and institutions. We are planning to conclude two memoranda of understanding shortly.”

The UAE also has plans to develop the first city on Mars as part of the 2117 Mars project.

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