UAE’s MBZ-SAT gears up for October launch

Published: May 15, 2024
Dubai Media Office

The Earth-observation satellite MBZ-SAT is set to be launched no earlier than October 2024, marking a significant milestone in the UAE’s space endeavours.

The satellite, which is named in honour of the UAE’s President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is fully developed and built by a team of Emirati engineers from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC).

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, was briefed on the latest updates and upcoming phases of MBZ-SAT, during his visit to the headquarters of MBRSC on Wednesday.

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.

Upcoming phases

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. The MBZ-SAT is scheduled for launch no earlier than October 2024 on a SpaceX rocket, and will further solidify the UAE’s position in the global space industry and its commitment to advancing space science and technology.

MBZ-SAT: From the UAE to the World

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% of its mechanical structures and most of its electronic modules, the satellite has significantly advanced the localisation of aerospace manufacturing in the region.

Additionally, 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.

Following its launch, MBZ-SAT will be operated and monitored from the mission control centre at MBRSC.

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