UAE-made MBZ-SAT approved for launch in October

The Earth-observation satellite, named in honour of Mohamed Bin Zayed, will be launched on a SpaceX rocket

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Published: Wed 15 May 2024, 11:01 PM

Last updated: Thu 16 May 2024, 7:02 AM

The MBZ-SAT, the most advanced satellite in the region named after the UAE President, has been approved for launch which will take place no earlier than October 2024.

The Earth-observation satellite will be launched on a SpaceX rocket further solidifying the UAE's position in the global space industry.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, was briefed on the latest updates and upcoming phases of MBZ-SAT, the latest addition to the UAE Satellite Programme, during his visit to the headquarters of MBRSC.

The briefing covered the satellite's development, its capabilities, and the strategic plan for its deployment. Sheikh Hamdan expressed his confidence in the Centre’s capabilities to enhance the Arab region’s stature in the global space industry through pioneering projects like MBZ-SAT.

“We are on the brink of a transformative era in space exploration, and the upcoming launch of MBZ-SAT marks a pivotal moment that affirms the UAE’s growing influence as a significant global contributor to the field of space technology," he said.

Upcoming phases

Following the successful development of MBZ-SAT, the upcoming phase involves environmental testing, which is crucial to ensuring its resilience and functionality in the harsh conditions of space. Once the environmental testing is successfully completed, the final launch preparations will commence.

From UAE to the world

MBZ-SAT, fully developed and built by a team of Emirati engineers, represents a leap forward in technological prowess. The development of the satellite has played a key role in enhancing the sustainable space economy in the UAE. By involving local companies in the manufacturing of nearly 90 per cent of its mechanical structures and most of its electronic modules, the satellite has significantly advanced the localisation of aerospace manufacturing in the region.

Equipped with one of the most powerful cameras ever developed in the region, the MBZ-SAT can capture high-resolution images with unprecedented clarity, covering areas less than one square metre in size. This capability not only meets the growing commercial demand for high-resolution satellite images, but also positions the UAE as a hub for high-tech space technology development and innovation.

The Centre will offer rapid turnaround of captured data round-the-clock, sharing it with users globally through an advanced system. This imagery solution can support a wide variety of uses within mapping and analysis, environmental monitoring, navigation, infrastructure management and disaster relief efforts, to name a few .

Following its launch, MBZ-SAT will be operated and monitored from the Mission Control Centre at MBRSC. The advanced Earth-observation satellite will join the ranks of the UAE’s currently active satellites, significantly enhancing the capabilities that MBRSC possesses.


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