The first UAE-built satellite launched from Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan

KhalifaSat was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan, on-board the H-IIA rocket at 8:08 AM Dubai time. The first 100% Emirati-engineered and -developed satellite, was manufactured in the UAE at the Mohammad bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai.

10.05 am

Live broadcast from Tanegashima Space Centre ends.

10.03 am

“We plan to provide launch vehicle footage footage. The boardcast content has been changed due to difficulties in retrieving a part of the footage,” says Japan’s space centre.

9.58 am

First signals from KhalifaSat received, according to UAE Barq.

9.53 am

“We are about to send footage from cameras on the launch vehicle, preparations will finish soon”: Japan’s Tanegashima space centre.

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, tweeted:

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said in a tweet: “A new historic day for the UAE. The launch of ‘KhalifaSat’ is the first Arabic satellite 100% Emirati-made. A milestone for UAE as Emiratis proved their ability, maturity, knowledge and ambition, joining the global race with our heads up.”

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE, tweeted: “An unprecedented Emirati achievement launching the first satellite, KhalifaSat, with Emirati hands. Our dream to embrace space has become a reality for our young people, who are launching a new stage of scientific challenge. We are proud our youth, Zayed’s children and their achievements that demonstrate that Arabs are able to compete and lead.”

9.49 am

It’s confirmed: KhalifaSat has jettisoned from the H2A rocket.

Celebrations at the Tanegashima space centre in Japan.

It is confirmed to have been inserted into orbit at 613km above the Earth’s surface, and will travel south on a sun-synchronous orbit (SSO, see glossary of terms below).

What will happen after orbital insertion?

■ MBRSC has a timeframe of about one week of actual management of the spacecraft in space. This includes different activities like managing the satellite telemetries and making sure the communication between the satellite and the ground station is correct, Amer Al Sayegh, KhalifaSat Project Manager, said.

■ KhalifaSat’s sensors will be tested through what is called orbit calibration to fix or adjust some parameters of the sensors, ensuring the satellite is working accurately in space.

■ After this, the satellite will start taking images for calibration. Special calibration sites are designated for this purpose. This is like taking an image of a blank area to analyse the behaviour of its sensors.

■ The first official photo be taken by the KhalifaSat will be that of a “unique place” on earth that will be revealed later on.

In a tweet, Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council, said: “We are all proud of the capabilities of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre, the owners of this important project which bears the name of the head of state. Our celebration during the year of Zayed takes a new dimension as the image of our founding father reaches outer space.”

He added: “We congratulate the leadership and the people of the UAE on the successful launch of ‘KhalifaSat’, which was manufactured entirely by Emirati engineers and arrived today in its orbit, confirming the rise of the ambitions of our people and the energies of our youth.”

9.34 am

H2A rocket is proceeding beyond tracking range. Control centre in Japan is standing by to acquire signals from the Khalisat.

8.25 am

100min from now, KhalifaSat’s separation and orbital insertion will be confirmed — somewhere over western Australia.

8.24 am

Confirmed: Ibuki2 (Gosat), the first payload, separates from the H2A rocket. Inserted into orbit.


8.23 am

Rocket’s second stage separates from main rocket.

8.21 am

Rocket has reached 570km above the Earth, streaking through the sky with a velocity of 5.3km/sec. Flight status normal.

8.16 am

Rocket reaches 390 km above earth’s surface. Everything going well. Trajectory normal.

8.13 am

The 1st stage engine is cut off and separate at 6min 46 seconds. After that, engine 2 will ignite and place Ibuki-2 into its designated orbit.

Engine 2 will cut off at 15min 26 seconds into flight.

8.08 am

UAE’s KhalifaSat successfully lifts off to space on board H2-A rocket from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre.

The H2-A launch vehicle carrying the UAE’s KhalifaSat and another Japanese satellite Ibuki-2 successfully lifted off to space at the Tanegashima Space Centre.

It will continue to accelerate for 4min and 20 seconds after launch, the fairing housing the KhalifaSat and Ibuki-2 will separate.

The UAE’s first 100 per cent Emirati-made satellite, the KhalifaSat, will be launched  today, Monday, October 29  at 8.08am from the Yoshinobu Launch Complex at the JAXA Tanegashima Space Centre, in southern Japan.KhalifaSat will help meet the growing global demand for Earth Imaging.

The launch is a proud moment for a country so young, and its young and dynamic engineers whose passion goes beyond the skies.

The KhalifaSat is designed to capture high-resolution images with a spatial resolution of 70cm, meaning each pixel represents 70cm of the ground being captured.

Attendees at MBR Space Centre prepare to watch the launch of KhalifaSAT, the first Emirati satellite, live.

To mark the event, a video was played on the viant LED skin of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower at 828 meters, on Sunday night.

What is it?

The KhalifaSat is an imaging satellite designed and built by Emiratis on UAE soil, specifically in the clean rooms of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in Al Khawaneej. The project began in December 2013.

Why did they build it?

Once in orbit, KhalifaSat will provide a high-resolution imagery of 0.7m in a Low Earth Orbit trajectory, meaning from an orbit 600km above the earth. Capturing the earth’s natural beauty in precise detail and accuracy is the satellite’s predominant mission.

Equipped with the latest in space and imaging technology, KhalifaSat will prove to be a powerful imaging tool, more agile than its predecessors: the DubaiSat-1 launched in Kazakhstan in 2009 and DubaiSat-2 launched in Russia in 2013.

What happens when it is space?

Once in orbit, KhalifaSat will provide detailed high-quality imagery for a variety of uses, allowing the UAE to provide competitive services across the world.


Name of imageHIIA rocket carrying the Khalifasat ready being prepared for launch Tanegashima Space Center in Japan, from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), on 29 October 2018, at 8:08 AM Dubai time. Supplied


Sun-synchronous orbit: Stellites that move from pole to pole as the earth rotates.

Telemetry: This is the automatic measurement and wireless transmission of data from remote sources, such as a satellite.

Geo-stationary transfer orbit:  xxxxx

Source: Gulf News