• Forum brought together high-level stakeholders in the space sector and discussed the latest research topics, state-of-the-art technologies and innovations in space operations
  • The event with the theme “Invest in space to serve Earth and beyond” ran from 6-10 March at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Dubai – UAE: The 17th edition of the International Conference on Space Operations (SpaceOps 2023), the largest ever edition in the history of the event, hosted by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in the UAE and the International Committee on Technical Interchange for Space Mission Operations and Ground Data Systems concluded with a grand closing ceremony at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

SpaceOps 2023, held for the first time ever in the Arab world, saw more than 1,100 participants from over 70 countries, attend the 5-day event filled with plenary sessions, informative lectures, in-depth technical sessions, and interactive workshops. More than 100 sessions were held under the theme of the conference, ‘Invest in space to serve Earth and beyond’, with more than 550 papers and abstracts submitted from over 50 countries.

In addition to the attendees, SpaceOps 2023 also saw the participation of seven space agencies from around the world, which includes NASA, European Space Agency (ESA), Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), South African National Space Agency (SANSA), French Space Agency (CNES), Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). A total of 30 space exhibitors from around the world, also had their stands at the event’s exhibition showcasing the latest innovation and services in the space sector.

The 5-day event was endorsed by multiple sponsors from across the globe, including platinum sponsor GMV, gold sponsor Yahsat, silver sponsors, European Space Agency (ESA) and South Africa National Space Agency (SANSA), bronze sponsors, Telespazio, Agenzia Spaziole Italiana, SpaceNav and others.

H.E. Salem Humaid AlMarri, Director General, MBRSC said, “We are proud to have hosted the largest ever SpaceOps in history and the first ever edition in the Arab world, here in Dubai. By bringing together the brightest minds in the space industry to discuss the latest developments and innovations, we were able to explore new frontiers and push the boundaries of space exploration and technology. As we look forward to the future, we are committed to continuing to inspire and encourage the next generation of scientists, engineers, and space explorers. Through events like SpaceOps2023, we aim to create a platform for collaboration and knowledge-sharing that will help us to unlock the full potential of space and achieve our shared goal of exploring and understanding the universe around us.”

Adnan AlRais, Local Organising Committee Chair, SpaceOps 2023 said, “As we come to the end of SpaceOps 2023, I am confident that the conversations we've had and the connections we've made will shape the future of the space industry. We leave with a renewed sense of purpose and excitement for what lies ahead. I encourage everyone to carry forward the conversations we've initiated here, and to continue exploring new frontiers in space exploration. Together, we can unlock the potential of space technology for the betterment of humanity.”

At the closing ceremony, Adnan AlRais and the team from MBRSC handed over the SpaceOps flag to Gerard Gallet and Hubert Fraysse from CNES, the host of the next SpaceOps Workshop.

The 2023 SpaceOps Awards were also handed out during the closing ceremony, recognising and honouring outstanding teams and individuals who made exceptional contributions to space operations through their achievements on a specific mission or over a lifetime, or provided distinguished service to the SpaceOps organisation and conferences.

Meanwhile, the Best Papers Awards for SpaceOps 2023 were announced during the event, with the top 30 research papers making its way into the post conference book. Saeed AlMansouri, Technical Program Committee Chair further presented Mohammed Irfan Rashed with the ‘Best Students Paper Award’ for his paper on ‘Mission and operations planning for small-satellite constellations using autonomous systems’.

The final day of the event began with a plenary session on ‘Planetary Defense’ with experts from NASA, JAXA, DLR, ESA, JHUAPL and CNRS/Côte d’Azur Observatory as panellists. Additionally, a special session on 'To-orbit transportation, in-orbit support and on-Earth recovery of space payloads' was held with experts from ESA, Space Commerce Matters, Redwire, Thales Alenia Space, Exploration Company, ALTEC and Sierra Space being part of the panel. The panellists discussed the emerging LEO marketplace, with its new operational challenges, from the commercial and institutional prospective and the solutions offered by new space transportation vehicles. The final day also involved oral presentation of abstracts and papers that emphasize unique and innovative practices, technologies, and experiences from which others in the space operations community will benefit.

With the theme “Invest in space to serve Earth and beyond”, the 5-day international forum provided valuable opportunity for delegates to explore all aspects of space mission operations, including specialised areas such as robotics, human, earth-orbiting, and deep space operations. The event also provided insights into the latest technologies and opportunities in the space sector, in addition to showcasing how advanced space technologies can contribute to finding solutions for the future of humanity.

Prior to the start of SpaceOps 2023, the SpaceOps committee, MBRSC and Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) organised the ‘Students and Young Professionals (SYP)’ program, which was attended by hundreds of youth from the UAE and around the world, and included student workshops, a discussion on women in SpaceOps, speed mentoring and a technical hour.


For Media Queries:
MBRSC Media Team - mbrsc@quillmena.com


MBRSC is an advanced scientific and technological hub, responsible for making the UAE a world leader in space services and exploration.

Established in 2006, the Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) started out with five engineers, who took it upon themselves to develop their capabilities and expand their knowledge in the field of space, relying on strong will and solid determination. Since then, the centre has continued its journey to be the incubator of the “UAE National Space Programme”. The MBRSC has undertaken the tasks of building, developing, and operating a number of Earth observation satellites, providing imaging services, analysing and studying them, as well as producing relevant data to scientific communities and research centres around the world. Among the satellites that the centre operates are DubaiSat-1 & DubaiSat-2. The MBRSC is also responsible for KhalifaSat, celebrated as the first satellite that was fully built by Emiratis in 2018. Recently, the centre revealed its plan to develop the new satellite MBZ-SAT, which is expected to be launched at the end of 2023 and to be the latest in the field of high-resolution imaging from outer space.