Tanegashima Space center, October 29, 2018 - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) successfully delivered UAE Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre's (MBRSC) KhalifaSat satellite into orbit today via the H-IIA launch vehicle F40. The launch vehicle trajectory was executed as planned, and at about 24 minutes after liftoff, separation of the KhalifaSat satellite was confirmed.
This mission was performed along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite-2 "GOSAT-2" satellite, in which the separation of the GOSAT-2 satellite was also confirmed 16minutes after liftoff.
KhalifaSat is the first national satellite manufactured by the UAE, thus the mission should prove to be a great step towards UAE's mid-and-long term plans in government space activities and industries. Additionally, MHI holds the launch service contract for the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM spacecraft, planned to be launched in 2020), through which it hopes to build upon a strong and lasting relationship with the MBRSC and UAESA (UAE Space Agency).
The H-IIA launch vehicle is Japan's flagship launch vehicle and one of the most reliable launch vehicles in the world. Today's launch was the 41st consecutive successful H-IIA/H-IIB launch, with an accumulative success rate of 97.9.
The successor to the H-IIA - the H3 Launch Vehicle - has been developed by MHI and JAXA. The concept of the H3 is highlighted to be much more customer-oriented by offering affordable pricing, relaxing environmental conditions for satellites and drastically reduced preparation time from contract to launch. It will allow for more flexible and cost-efficient launch services, and is scheduled to make its maiden flight in 2020.
His Excellency Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Chairman of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), said, "The successful launch of KhalifaSat; which bears the name of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, marks a new milestone for the space sector in the UAE and the region. The first satellite fully manufactured in the United Arab Emirates at MBRSC facilities by Emirati engineers, is in line with the directives of our wise leadership in transforming the UAE into a regional and international hub for space science and technology. With its 5 patents, we believe that KhalifaSat will play an important role in aiding organizations around the world in getting accurate data related to environmental changes and urban planning as well as support relief efforts at times of natural disasters. We dedicate this achievement to our leadership and we appreciate the valuable role played by our Japanese partners and thank them for their support in all the stages of this major project, providing all the necessary facilities to ensure that KhalifaSat is delivered successfully into space."
"I would like to express my profound appreciation to all involved in the launch campaign for the devoted support and cooperation. In particular, I greatly appreciate that UAE's Space Agency and MBRSC continuously supported and cooperated with us throughout the 3 and half years since MHI received the contract in Feb., 2015.", said Naohiko Abe, Senior Vice President and Head of Integrated Defense and Space Systems of MHI. "The UAE government is the third overseas customer for MHI's Launch Services. With the results of today's launch, the H-IIA and H-IIB have achieved 41 consecutive successful, on-time launches. We strongly intend to expand our launch services business as the leading company of the Japanese space industry. Moreover, MHI is developing the H3 in partnership with JAXA. In succession of the H-IIA/IIB, the H3 will be a reliable and affordable next generation launch vehicle. Its maiden flight is planned for 2020, and we expect to be awarded with H3 launch service contracts from potential customers in the upcoming days."