The UAE Satellite Programme has been at the forefront of the nation’s steadily achieved mission to fly among international leaders in the space science and technology sector. MBRSC’s strategy has been to focus on scientific innovation and technological progress to advance knowledge-based progress in this greater national goal.
In 2006, MBRSC was entrusted with the development of the UAE’s first satellite and a team of Emirati engineers was deployed to South Korea as part of a knowledge transfer programme. Over the next decade, working hand in hand with South Korean experts, the MBRSC satellite engineers designed and manufactured the country’s first nanosatellite, Nayif-1 as well as its first two observation satellites, DubaiSat-1 and DubaiSat-2, which were launched in 2009 and 2013, respectively.
In October 2018, the launch of the first 100% UAE-designed and manufactured Earth observation satellite, the highly sophisticated KhalifaSat, was celebrated as a historical milestone. KhalifaSat cemented the country’s position amongst the world’s leading space technology manufacturers and its role in actively contributing valuable satellite imaging data to human progress. The UAE’s second nanosatellite, DMSat-1, the first nanometric environmental satellite, developed by Dubai Municipality in collaboration with MBRSC was launched in March 2021.
In October 2020, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the new satellite project called MBZ-SAT, which will become the second Emirati satellite to be fully developed and built by a team of Emirati engineers after the KhalifaSat. To be developed at the MBRSC, the MBZ-SAT is expected to be launched in 2023 and will be the most advanced commercial satellite in the region in the field of high-resolution satellite imagery.
On the ground, the UAE’s satellite spacecraft operations are conducted by Mission Control Centre (MSC) at MBRSC headquarters in Dubai. MBRSC plans and operates the missions, monitors and commands the satellites, and also receives, processes and distributes the satellite imagery for analysis.