KhalifaSat, the first satellite designed, tested and manufactured in the UAE by Emirati engineers, was launched successfully from Japan in what is considered a significant milestone in the country’s space programme. The launch is an unprecedented achievement for the UAE as it heads in a month’s time to celebrate its 47th National Day on 2 December.
HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council took to LinkedIn and other social platforms to laud the work of the Emirati engineering team and called the launch “a true reflection of the aspirations of our youth and our nation”.
“Proud of the talented Emirati personnel at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MRSC). They are the heroes behind this important project that carries the name of our President,” he stated on LinkedIn.
KhalifaSat was designed and built at the Space Technology Laboratories at MBRSC in Dubai. The satellite was transported to Japan and loaded onto a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries rocket – H-IIA. When placed into a Low Earth Orbit of approximately 613km, the satellite will proceed to capture detailed imagery capable of competing with the highest industry standards, a spokesperson for the MBRSC said in previous reports.
The UAE is now working towards sending its first Emirati astronaut to the International Space Station next year.