Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) celebrated the sixth anniversary of DubaiSat-1, the first remote sensing satellite owned by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), taking the first step in the country’s journey into the satellite manufacturing sector. DubaiSat–1 marked the occasion by taking high quality images of Burj Khalifa and Emirates Towers areas.
On this auspicious occasion, H.E. Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, Director General, MBRSC expressed his pride by stating: “Today marks six years since the launch of DubaiSat-1. It is a matter of patriotic pride for us that Emirati engineers participated in 30% of the building tasks when we were at the manufacturing stage, and that they have been fully responsible for its operations. Today, six years after its launch, the satellite remains accurate and maintains regular operations to date. This is a proof of the capabilities of the UAE’s engineers and the ability of the Centre to leverage the latest research and information in advanced technology and transform it into a satellite, thereby empowering the credibility of the Emirates in space science”.
For his part, Salem Al Marri, Assistant Director General for Scientific and Technical affairs, MBRSC, who was also DubaiSat-1 Project Manager said: “DubaiSat-1 project was the starting point of the UAE’s journey in space sciences and satellite manufacturing industry. This was evident in two important factors, the first being the launch of the satellite itself, and the second being sending a group of Emirati engineers to South Korea, forging strategic partnerships with specialized companies in the field to transfer knowledge and experience in the field. We are today fully capable of manufacturing satellites with 100% Emirati workforce, and our human capital is taking the lead in all steps of the Hope Probe project.”
Six years after DubaiSat-1’s launch from the Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan, it is still performing its regular duties with high accuracy. DubaiSat-1 is currently in its sun-synchronous polar orbit, 682 km above the Earth’s surface. The satellite is fitted with systems and applications that help in urban planning, monitoring various environmental changes, assessing climate changes, like sand storms and fog, identifying the quality of water in the region and monitoring the tide in addition to supporting assistance and disaster relief missions.
MBRSC is a Dubai Government entity which aims to promote scientific innovation and technology advancement in Dubai and the UAE. Among the most prominent tasks entrusted to the Centre are the design, implementation, and supervision of all phases of launching the “Hope Probe” to explore Mars. The Centre also provides space imaging and earth station services and support to other satellite services.
In 2009, MBRSC launched “DubaiSat-1” into space, the first remote sensing satellite. In 2013, the second satellite “DubaiSat-2” was launched, while work is underway to launch the third satellite “Khalifa Sat”, which is being built purely by Emirati engineering and expertise in the UAE.