Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum chairing the meeting on Sunday at MBRSC in Dubai Image Credit: X/@DXBMediaOffice

Dubai: The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in Dubai continues to play a leading role in inspiring Emirati missions and projects within the space sector, said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, and President of the MBRSC.

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Strengthening the UAE’s National Space Programme and supporting the country’s contributions to global space exploration efforts, the Centre is significantly involved in the development of the UAE’s technological capabilities, Sheikh Hamdan added.

He made these remarks at a meeting of the MBRSC Board of Directors chaired by him on Sunday, during which he was briefed on the Centre’s ambitious future programmes and missions.

Space projects

During the meeting, Sheikh Hamdan reviewed strategic plans for the development and launch of satellites under the UAE Satellite Programme. These include MBZ-SAT, the most advanced satellite in the region, slated for launch by October this year, and HCT-SAT 1, an Earth-observation CubeSat, being developed in collaboration with the students of the Higher Colleges of Technology under the expert guidance of MBRSC engineers, as part of the Centre’s efforts to integrate space technology within the education sector.

Sheikh Hamdan was also updated on the latest developments pertaining to the Emirates Airlock project, the crew and science airlock module for the Gateway lunar space station, in the backdrop of the UAE joining the multi-agency project. He was also briefed on the progress of the Rashid Rover 2, the UAE’s latest mission to explore the Moon.

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Striving for excellence

“Our strategic vision for developing and launching advanced technology and missions is not merely about reaching new heights in the space sector, but about inspiring a whole generation to dream big and aim higher. Every new project we launch enhances our national capabilities, pushing the boundaries of what we can achieve and ensuring that the UAE remains synonymous with innovation and excellence in space sciences,” Sheikh Hamdan said.

Talal Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Vice President, MBRSC, and Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Chairman, MBRSC, presented Sheikh Hamdan with a framed souvenir gifted by Senator Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator, showcasing flags of the UAE and USA that was carried to the Moon during the Artemis 1 lunar flyby mission. The souvenir was presented in recognition of Sheikh Hamdan’s leadership and dedication in advancing space cooperation between the UAE and USA.

Meeting astronauts

Following the Board meeting, Sheikh Hamdan met UAE astronauts Mohammad Al Mulla and Nora Al Matrooshi, congratulating them on their successful graduation from the NASA Astronaut Candidate Class training programme as fully qualified astronauts ready for future space missions. Astronauts Mohammad and Nora briefed Sheikh Hamdan on the extensive training they underwent over the course of two years.

Sheikh Hamdan was also briefed by Astronaut Hazzaa AlMansoori, Astronauts Office Manager, on updates regarding the UAE Astronaut Programme and its upcoming plans. The insights shared highlighted the continued progress and future missions that promise to further establish the UAE’s prominence in the global space community.

Transformative mission

Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori said: “With the support of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE; and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE continues to spearhead efforts that place it at the forefront of space exploration.

"MBRSC remains at the heart of this transformative mission, driving forward with a clear vision and unwavering commitment to innovation and excellence in all its endeavours. Our strategic initiatives not only enhance our national capabilities but also position us as key contributors to the global space community.”

Salem Humaid Al Marri, Director-General, MBRSC, said: “MBRSC, under the guidance of the wise leadership of the UAE and the support of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, continues to innovate and craft new milestones.

"We are dedicated to creating a collaborative environment that encourages disruptive thinking and technological breakthroughs. By supporting global collaborations and developing state-of-the-art technologies, we aim to contribute significantly to human knowledge and improve quality of life on Earth.”