x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

UAE satellite to launch

The UAE's first government satellite, DubaiSat-1, will launch on July 25, scientists announced today.

Artist's rendering of the DubaiSat-1 satellite in orbit.
Artist's rendering of the DubaiSat-1 satellite in orbit.

Dubai // The UAE's first government satellite, DubaiSat-1, will launch on July 25, scientists announced today. The satellite project, which cost almost $50 million (Dh184 million), has been beset by administrative and logistical delays, and will take to the skies during a night launch from a missile silo in Kazakhstan. "It's official now. We are ready to launch DubaiSat-1 in 51 days," said Ahmed al Mansoori, director general of the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology, which masterminded the project. "The countdown has started and on July 25, 2009, the UAE will make history as DubaiSat -1 will be launched onboard the Russian Dnepr rocket along with five other satellites from the UK, United States and Spain. "The satellite marks the UAE's entry into a new era of innovation, scientific and technological exploration." It will be the first non-communications satellite the country has put into orbit. Originally it was scheduled for launch in the fourth quarter of last year but suffered a series of bureaucratic delays. The satellite has a minimum lifespan of five years and has been designed for Earth observation and remote sensing. It will bring back high-resolution images for a host of applications including disaster management, environmental monitoring and urban planning. The satellite will ride into space on a soviet-era SS19 intercontinental ballistic missile launched from a silo near Baikonur Cosmodrome, where Yuri Gagarin lifted off and became the first man in space in 1961. chamilton@thenational.ae