UAE's Al Yah 3 satellite in orbit, to serve millions of poor
Abu Dhabi - Will reach 20 African nations and more than 90 per cent of Brazil's population.
In the early hours of Friday morning, the UAE blasted Al Yah 3 into space from French Guiana, setting a new milestone to the country's journey to space.
The launcher's liftoff took place on January 25, 2018 at 7:20 pm (around 2.20 am UAE time). A few seconds after ignition of the upper stage, the second tracking station located in Natal, Brazil, did not acquire the launcher telemetry. This lack of telemetry lasted throughout the rest of powered flight.
Subsequently, both satellites were confirmed separated, acquired and they are on orbit. SES-14 and Al Yah 3 are communicating with their respective control centers.
Both missions are continuing.
The satellite will provide high-speed Internet in some of the world's most poorest and rural areas, allowing tens of millions of people to send and receive communication.
The launcher's liftoff took place on January 25, 2018 at 7:20 pm. A few seconds after ignition of the upper stage, the second tracking station located in Natal, Brazil, did not acquire the launcher telemetry. This lack of telemetry lasted throughout the rest of powered flight. Subsequently, both satellites were confirmed separated, acquired and they are on orbit. SES-14 and Al Yah 3 are communicating with their respective control centers. Both missions are continuing.
Al Yah 3 will reach 20 African nations, totalling a whopping 60 per cent of Africa's population, and more than 90 per cent of Brazil's population.
Dr Mohammed Al Ahbabi, director general of the UAE Space Agency, told Khaleej Times the satellite will offer communication to some of the world's most isolated communities.
"Just imagine, a company here from the UAE will be serving people in the Amazon and providing broadband Internet; connecting people, schools and hospitals," he said, on the sidelines of the iShuttle portal launch in January.
Dr Al Ahbabi said that the UAE space sector will help generate for the country, adding that it is a key and significant tool to any economy, which contributes to a knowledge-based economy.
The communications satellite that belongs to YahSat, is owned by Mubadala Investment Company, which also has satellites that serve the government, the military and the private sector.
YahSat has satellites that currently cover 140 countries across the Middle East, Africa, Europe, as well as Asia.
The UAE Space Agency's Twitter handle said: "The highly-anticipated day is here! Today we launch the #AlYah3, the third in @yashsatofficial fleet from Kourou in French Guiana."
On Wednesday evening Dubai Media Office's Twitter handle also shared its excitement for the launch: "With the launch of Al Yah 3 in 30 hours, @yahsatofficial's commercial Ka-band coverage will be extended to an additional 20 markets, reaching 60 per cent of Africa's population and over 95 per cent of Brazils population."
The UAE will launch two more satellites this year, 'Mysat,' the cube satellite designed by Khalifa University of Science and Technology and Masdar, which Dr Al Ahbabi said is expected to take-off between May and June.
KhalifaSat, which is operated by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre and was completely designed and made in the UAE, will be launched on a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries rocket in Japan this summer. "I'm expecting 2018 to be another year for great space activities," said Dr Al Ahbabi, who is also one of the founders of Yahsat
The UAE has already witnessed a tremendous amount of success and has gained global recognition and respect for its numerous space missions.
In February 2017, the UAE announced that it will even be establishing the first colony on Mars by 2117.
Although the project's deadline is in 100 years, the mission will help raise the economy, build skills and boost the UAE's education, innovation and technology sectors, explained Dr Al Ahbabi, during an interview with Khaleej Times last year.
"The UAE aims to be part of the world consortium in establishing the first settlement on Mars."
"The reason behind that is because we want to inspire young people, we want to educate them and solve challenges that we are facing on Earth today."
YahSat has satellites that currently cover 140 countries.