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SpaceX To Launch The Arab World’s Most Advanced Satellite In 2023

The launch of the MBZ-SAT is part of the UAE’s broader space ambitions, including plans to have a human colony on Mars by 2117.

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spacex to launch the arab world's most advanced satellite in 2023
SpaceX

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.

mbrsc team with mbz-sat satellite

MBRSC

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.

Also Read: The First Space Hotel Is Set To Open In 2027

“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.

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Initial Trials Of Dubai’s Driverless Evocargo Trucks Completed

Testing was announced on July 17, and the completion is a major milestone towards upgrading the region’s logistics infrastructure.

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initial trials of dubai's driverless evocargo trucks completed
Dubai Media Office

A Dubai-based company has completed the initial trials for the UAE’s first driverless trucks. The groundbreaking achievement by Evocargo, partnering with Dubai South, took place at Dubai South Logistics District, and marked a significant step towards incorporating autonomous technologies into the region’s wider logistics infrastructure.

Announced on Wednesday, July 17th, the trials featured the Evocargo N1 unmanned electric truck navigating a predetermined route within a controlled setting. The test involved interactions with common road obstacles such as cars, trucks, and pedestrians, aiming to evaluate the vehicle’s hardware and software reliability, accident prevention systems, and overall readiness for public road use.

Officials were keen to highlight that this accomplishment aligns with the UAE’s ambitious strategy to position itself as a global leader in innovation and technology adoption. The country aims to have 25% of all transportation in Dubai autonomous by 2030, underscoring its commitment to revolutionizing the logistics sector using advanced technologies.

Mohsen Ahmad, CEO of the Logistics District at Dubai South, emphasized the importance of the collaboration with Evocargo in enhancing the region’s logistics capabilities. He noted that autonomous vehicles are set to increase efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, and establish a sustainable logistics infrastructure that will benefit both Dubai and the wider UAE.

Also Read: Riyadh Developers Reveal New 45,000-Seat Murabba Stadium

Ahmed Al-Ansi, CEO of Evocargo Autonomous Logistic Services, also expressed optimism that the trials will draw new customers and investments across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The partnership aims to lead in innovative tech solutions, further establishing the UAE as a pioneer in autonomous transportation.

The successful completion of the trials marks a crucial step towards realizing the UAE’s vision for a technologically advanced and sustainable future in which autonomous vehicles are expected to play a pivotal role in global logistics.

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