Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), the government organization working on the UAE space program, has announced that it will use the SpaceX rideshare program to launch the MBZ-SAT satellite into space in 2023.
SpaceX established its rideshare program two years ago as a low-cost alternative to traditional white-glove launch services. Since then, over 200 satellites have been launched thanks to the program, which is aimed at small satellites like the 700 kg MBZ-SAT satellite, whose weight and size make it a great fit for the 24-inch ESPA class port, which has a maximum capacity of 830 kg.
Once successfully deployed, the MBZ-SAT will become the Arab world’s most powerful Earth-imaging satellite, significantly outperforming the KhalifaSat, the first Emirati-built satellite, by offering nearly twice the resolving power and featuring multiple other improvements to take clear images from around 500 km above the surface of the Earth.
Most components for the satellite were developed domestically in partnership with UAE-based companies, including Mubadala-owned Strata, Falcon Group, Edge Group’s EPI, Halcon, and Rockford Xellerix. There’s still quite a bit of work left to do before the MBZ-SAT can take off for space, however, which is why the satellite won’t launch any sooner than in 2023.
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“MBRSC team completed the structure model and initial tests of MBZ-SAT along with the completion of the engineering and Flatsat qualification module,” the organization tweeted. “The team will now begin preparations to manufacture the flight model”.
The launch of the MBZ-SAT is part of UAE’s broader space ambitions, including a plan to have a human colony on Mars by 2117 and participation in NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024. To become a major player in the space race, UAE must support local companies and inspire young people to pursue careers in the space industry.
UAE Comes Out Strongly In Guinness World Records 2023
Guinness, the renowned cataloger of record-breaking events, has released its latest annual, after sifting through 40,000 applications — and the Arab world is heavily featured.
Guinness World Records, the authority on record-breaking global achievements, has just announced its latest release, “Guinness World Records 2023 (GWR2023),” which will be available online and in physical stores across the Arab region from today.
As usual, GWR 2023 features all of the latest achievements from around the world (and space!), with special features and updated graphics to bring the stories to life.
So why the interest in the latest Guinness installment? Well, it turns out the Arab Region is strongly represented in the book, with more than 50 records featured in the new edition, which is no mean feat considering the volume of competition.
“We’ve sifted through nearly 40,000 record applications over the past year to bring you Guinness World Records 2023. People from all walks of life continue to be fascinated by extremes, and we’ve received claims from across the planet – indeed, even from space! This is why I’ve said the new edition is out of this world,” says Craig Glenday, Guinness Editor in Chief.
Of interest to readers of this platform, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates both get to flex their record-breaking muscles.
Saudi Arabia claims the title of “Largest LED Structure and Suspended Ornament” courtesy of the Noor Riyadh Festival, as well as other weird and wonderful titles, including the “Largest Lego Formula 1 Car”, as well as perhaps more prestigious honors, such as “Largest Mirrored Building”, “Largest Clock Face”, “Tallest Lighthouse” and the “Largest Geodesic Dome”.
Not to be outdone, the UAE has claimed several humanitarian record-breaking titles, including the “Longest Video Livestream” (by The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives and pan Arab influencer Hassan Suleiman), the “Largest Donation for Medical Treatment”, and the “Most Awareness Ribbons Made in One Hour”.
On the tech front, the UAE also claims several prestigious firsts, including “First 3D-Printed Laboratory”, while the world-renowned Burj Khalifa hangs on to its title of “World’s Tallest Building”.