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|14 October, 2018

UAE preparing to launch KhalifaSat in Japan

The UAE's commercial space industry will also be positively impacted by the launch of this satellite.

A model of the Tiangong-1 space lab module (L), the Shenzhou-9 manned spacecraft (R) and three Chinese astronauts is displayed during a news conference at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, in Gansu province, China June 15, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Files Image used for illustrative purposes

A model of the Tiangong-1 space lab module (L), the Shenzhou-9 manned spacecraft (R) and three Chinese astronauts is displayed during a news conference at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, in Gansu province, China June 15, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Files Image used for illustrative purposes

Jason Lee/Files

The UAE's first fully Emirati-built satellite has reached Japan's island of Tanegashima for its upcoming liftoff to space on October 29.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) posted a video of KhalifaSat's journey to Tanegashima on Twitter on Friday, where the satellite can be seen offloaded from an airplane, then loaded onto a ship in order to reach the island before finally taking a final drive to the facility.

KhalifaSat, the first satellite to be manufactured in the clean rooms of the MBRSC space technology laboratories, will be launched into Earth's orbit aboard the liquid-fueled H-IIA rocket at precisely 8:08am (UAE time). The launch time will take 15 to 20-minutes and will be sent 613km above Earth's surface.

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The satellite will revolutionise how services by the MBRSC are delivered as the satellite will make communication speed faster than ever before. "This is the best satellite we believe is out there in the world when it comes to remote sensing. The product that we will deliver to customers will definitely be of the highest quality and the way we developed the satellite automatically makes it a state-of-the-art advanced remote sensing satellite," Amer Al Sayegh, director of the space systems development department and the project manager of KhalifaSat at the MBRSC, said last month during a press briefing.

"We have five patents under the KhalifaSat, built totally from scratch by our Emirati engineers and scientists. One of them is the highest resolution camera. This is the best satellite for Earth observation in the UAE and in the region. An advanced positioning system in the satellite will help us make giant maps and accurately provide information from the satellite to the users."

KhalifaSat's satellite automatic control system's has been improved with high storage capacity, which means it will allow the MBRSC to take different images across different locations on Earth within one pass and enable customers to produce 3D maps for their own applications.

'Images free for humanitarian purposes'

The UAE's commercial space industry will also be positively impacted by the launch of this satellite.

Amer Al Sayegh, director of the space systems development department and the project manager of KhalifaSat at the MBRSC had told Khaleej Times last month that the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) will provide free images from the satellite to the UAE government as well as to countries who need for humanitarian reasons, specifically natural disasters.

However, if companies or governments need them for commercial purposes, it will cost them to use images captured by KhalifaSat.

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