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Sat 23 Apr 2011 11:49 AM

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Abu Dhabi's first satellite has lift off from French Guiana

Abu Dhabi-based Yahsat's Y1A satellite successfully launches from the European Space Centre

Abu Dhabi's first satellite has lift off from French Guiana
YahSats satellite launch in French Guiana.

Abu Dhabi-based Yahsat's first satellite Y1A has successfully launched from the European Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana, the company said on Saturday.

The Ariane 5 rocket carrying the spacecraft lifted off at 1.37am Abu Dhabi time, it said in a statement. The launch was originally intended to take place on March 30 but had been delayed by technical hitches.

"I would like to express my pride and gratitude during this moment of achievement," said Jassem Mohamed Al Zaabi, CEO of Yahsat and executive director of Mubadala Information, Communications and Technology.

"This success is the direct result of the unwavering vision, dedication and hard work of our leadership, Mubadala, the UAE Armed Forces and the entire Yahsat team. As a result of this work, we have not only stepped into space, but taken a significant stride in driving economic diversification and progress with our partners across the UAE."

Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, chairman of Yahsat and COO of Mubadala Development Company, added: "The launch of Y1A is hugely important for Mubadala and Abu Dhabi. Satellite communications are an integral component in establishing the world-class information and communication infrastructure that will support the continued economic diversification of the emirate."

Over the next few days, Y1A will undertake a series of manoeuvres before arriving at its final point of operation, 52.5 degrees east, above the UAE.

After arriving in position, control of the satellite will be managed by a team of UAE-national satellite engineers based out of the Yahsat control station in Al Falah, Abu Dhabi.

Yahsat is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company, the Abu Dhabi-based investment and development company.

Yahsat has commissioned two satellites to create regionally-focused capacity to manage the expanding requirements for government, commercial and consumer satellite communication services.

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