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MBRSC picks SpaceX for MBZ-SAT launch

  • UAE News
  • 27 Oct 2021
  • 12:00 AM

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) today announced that it has selected SpaceX as launch provider to deliver MBZ-SAT, the most advanced commercial satellite in the region in the field of high-resolution satellite imagery, into space. The second Emirati satellite to be fully developed and built by a team of Emirati engineers after the KhalifaSat will be launched on board SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. MBZ-SAT will be scheduled for launch toward the end of 2023 or at the beginning of 2024. Falcon 9 is a reusable, two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX for the reliable and safe transport of people and payloads into Earth orbit and beyond. Yousuf Hamad AlShaibani, Director-General, MBRSC, said: "We are continually seeking to extend and diversify our ecosystem of partners, particularly in the strategically important area of launch partners. We are delighted to partner with SpaceX to deliver the MBZ-SAT into space as they offer the key attributes of readiness, reliability and technological expertise for this project. The launch of MBZ-SAT is only the first step to unlock future opportunities with SpaceX, and we look forward to utilising further technology developments and space resources with them." Tom Ochinero, SpaceX Vice President of Commercial Sales, said: "We’re honoured to support this mission, and we look forward to the successful launch of MBZ-SAT and many future projects." The 3m x 5m satellite, weighing in at around 700 kg, will improve image capture resolution by more than double what is capable in the previously launched satellites. It will also increase the downlink data transmission speed by three times the current capacity. The fully automated image scheduling and processing system of MBZ-SAT will also be able to produce more than 10 times the images the Centre produces currently. MBRSC has over the years partnered with private companies in space technology and plans to further improve on this partnership to create a sustainable space sector in the UAE, thereby encouraging more space ready technology manufacturing, data studies as well as testing centres within the country.