Orbital Space has announced that QMR-KWT is due to be launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (SLC 40) in Florida on June 24, 2021. QMR-KWT – ‘Moon of Kuwait’ – translated from Arabic – is a 1U CubeSat and will be Kuwait’s first Satellite.
Speaking about the development, Bassam Alfeeli, Founder and General Manager of Orbital Space, said: “Our goal is to make space accessible to all, and as a startup, we are excited to work with other startups to meet our mutual objectives. Once in space, QMR-KWT will be the outcome of efforts from all young companies including Orbital Space, EnduroSat, D-Orbit, and even SpaceX, which is less than 20 years old company. QMR-KWT’s functional testing has been completed at EnduroSat facilities and it has been integrated with ION Satellite Carrier, D-Orbit’s orbital transportation vehicle, as part of the plan to put it in orbit. QMR-KWT is now at SpaceX facilities waiting to be integrated with its Falcon 9 rocket in the coming days. The Falcon 9 mission dubbed Transporter-2 rideshare mission will carry several dozens of satellites from the surface of the earth to outer space at around 500 km above sea level in a sun-synchronous orbit.”
According to Nada Alshammari, Director of Educational Programmes at Orbital Space, QMR-KWT space mission is to empower students to contribute to the advancement of satellite communication technology, and to prepare them as future professionals to operate the next generation of communication satellites.
He added: “Orbital Space is undertaking this pioneering mission in order to create educational opportunities for students from around the world to learn more about satellite communications. We are already seeing engagement from students with our QMR-KWT educational programme ‘Code in Space’. Code in Space is an opportunity for students to develop and test new software solutions by writing software code to be uploaded and executed on the satellite’s onboard computer. We are currently accepting student proposals for this out of the world opportunity.”
QMR-KWT mission control and ground station will be located at Dubai Digital Park, Dubai Silicon Oasis as part of the collaboration agreement between Orbital Space and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) under the umbrella of MBRSC Space Ventures for startups.