Sheikh Hamdan Approves MBZ-SAT Launch for October 2024

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H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, and President of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), has officially approved the MBZ-SAT for launch no earlier than October 2024. This marks a significant milestone in the UAE’s space initiatives.

During his visit to the MBRSC headquarters, Sheikh Hamdan was briefed on the latest updates and upcoming phases of MBZ-SAT, the region’s most advanced satellite and the latest addition to the UAE Satellite Programme. He was accompanied by Talal Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Vice President of MBRSC.

The briefing covered the satellite’s development, capabilities, and deployment strategy. Sheikh Hamdan expressed confidence in the Centre’s ability to enhance the Arab region’s status 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 space technology,” H.H. said. “Guided by our wise leadership’s vision, an ambitious agenda, and strengthened by strategic partnerships, the UAE’s space sector is poised to extend its reach and enhance its capabilities further.”

Sheikh Hamdan visited the clean room holding the MBZ-SAT and signed a plaque bearing the satellite’s logo. He engaged with the development team and received updates on the technical details and objectives of MBZ-SAT. The next phase involves environmental testing to ensure the satellite’s resilience in space, with final launch preparations to follow. MBZ-SAT is scheduled to launch on a SpaceX rocket no earlier than October 2024, further solidifying the UAE’s position in the global space industry.

Fully developed and built by a team of Emirati engineers, MBZ-SAT represents a leap forward in technological prowess and plays a key role in enhancing the UAE’s sustainable space economy. Nearly 90% of its mechanical structures and most electronic modules were manufactured by local companies, advancing aerospace manufacturing localization in the region.

Equipped with one of the most powerful cameras in the region, MBZ-SAT can capture high-resolution images with unprecedented clarity, covering areas less than one square meter. This capability meets growing commercial demand for high-resolution satellite images and positions the UAE as a hub for high-tech space technology development and innovation.

The Centre will offer rapid, round-the-clock data turnaround, sharing captured imagery globally through an advanced system. This imagery solution can support mapping, 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. The advanced Earth-observation satellite will enhance MBRSC’s current satellite capabilities significantly.

Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Chairman of MBRSC, stated, “Today is a landmark moment for the UAE as we move closer to launching MBZ-SAT, under the wise leadership of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. This achievement is a testament to our technological prowess and the innovative spirit driving our nation. As we aim for new heights, our commitment to pushing the boundaries of space exploration grows. Our journey towards becoming a global leader in space science is bolstered by the dedication and passion of our Emirati team, the true architects of our future in space.”

Salem Humaid AlMarri, Director General of MBRSC, added, “Under the guidance of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the MBZ-SAT project has flourished, reflecting our nation’s ambitious drive to pioneer cutting-edge space technologies. As we prepare for this landmark launch, our focus remains on harnessing the full potential of space science to benefit humanity and support sustainable development on Earth. With MBZ-SAT, we are not only launching a satellite but also elevating our capabilities to meet future challenges and inspire a new generation of scientists and engineers.”

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