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Wed 29 Jul 2009 08:49 AM

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UAE's first gov't satellite set for lift-off

If all goes to plan DubaiSat-1 will be jetting into orbit at 8.46pm UAE time.

The UAE government’s first satellite is set for lift-off Wednesday night from its launch site in Kazakhstan.

The remote sensing satellite – DubaiSat-1 – is scheduled for take off 8.46pm UAE time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, the National reported.

DubaiSat-1, which has cost AED184m ($50m) to develop, will be used to take detailed photographs of the region for use in urban planning and disaster relief, the paper said.

“Delays in launching procedure are not unusual and happen frequently as it is linked to the results of the final tests undertaken by the team of scientists and experts to ensure accomplishing the process in the smoothest way possible,” said Ahmed al Mansoori, director of the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST).

DubaiSat-1 was set to launch on July 25, but was delayed at the last minute for safety checks, the paper said.

If lift-off goes to plan the first images are expected to be beamed back to Dubai within hours, but it may take several days for the satellite to become fully operational.

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Ali 11 years ago

"take detailed photographs of the region" I suspect it's just to spy on us even more. After the BlackBerry farce I've lost all trust.

saif 11 years ago

so what if they spy?as long as your not doing anything wrong, it shouldnt be bothersome

Doug 11 years ago

Tell you what Saif, if spying is fine provided you're not doing anything wrong, how about I follow you around everywhere? When you go to work, I'll be in a car behind you and making notes on how you drive. When you're at work, I'll sit next to you and watch everything you do. When you go to lunch, I'll sit opposite you and watch you eat. And then when you go home, I'll sit next to you on the sofa and write down the names of every TV programme you watch. And then when you go to bed, I'll sit next you and watch you while you're asleep. We'll see just for how long you think it's not bothersome, shall we?

infedel 11 years ago

The more people put trinkets in the sky , the more we need to hook our systems and personal life behind protective covers. The empowered are afraid of some evil doers and latterly affecting innocent folks needing some privacy. Now of course, if there is a bad guy out there, wouldn't you want that guy stopped before exacting an evil plan? I would. You know? in US it is illegal to use an encryption method unknown to the gov. This is the same thing, one day you put a fake ID on you so that they don't follow you around and then you are accused of impersonating another character. Or perhaps we should spy on them in return to see how they like it. People you have to understand, we are the common people, the guys higher up in the food chain are responsible for many aspects of our lives. They decide what is good for you and me, which begs the question: what the heck? We may go round and round in out little sand boxes, but can we demand a change? I will save you the trouble of asking, of course not. Please note I am not against Dubai having a satellite in space for any reason what so ever.

Salah Din 11 years ago

Why this negative approach in some of the readers comments? Why is it wrong when Dubai does something advanced like the satellite set-off? Is it because there is no direct personal benefits for those pessimist individuals? Most if not all countries are taking safety and security measures to protect their own people and foreigners living in their country. What is wrong in that? Stop this negative criticism on Dubai. We all found Dubai as our temporary home and if Dubai is not doing well while we are there then we all are doing as bad. People, Look at the full half of the cup and think forward.

Abdul M. Ismail 11 years ago

DubaiSat-1 was a GSD (ground sample distance) specification of 2.5m which means that unless you're totally obese, the satellite won't even detect you - or even your car! Here are the specifications of the satellite, which is similar to the recently launched Malaysian RAZAKSAT; http://www.satreci.com/eng/products/products_01.htm Here's some more information about SATREC-I; http://www.koreaittimes.com/story/satrec-initiatives-double-debut This type of satellite cannot be used for surveillance. They can be used for disaster management, agriculture and food management, desertification, water resource management. Wikipedia gives a good introduction to satellite imagery; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_imagery As for the technological aspects, please note that many emerging space nations are participating in space projects. These include, Brazil, Argentina, Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Malasiya, Indonesia etc. Rather than simply remain a recipient of knowledge, why not aspire to become a contributor of knowledge? Space technology falls under the "aerospace" sector. The process of AIV (assembly, integration and verification) of aerospace components are effectively the same for civil and military aviation as well as space technology. The only difference is with the "V" component of AIV. Space technology has to be designed to survive a higher level of tolerance than military and civil aviation and since the UAE is already involved in MRO and aspires to assemble aircraft, the next logical step is integration and verification of components. Therefore, it's totally logical to invest time, effort and money into develop a space infrastructure because when local engineers learn how to manage the AIV process for satellites and spacecraft, they will have the pertinent knowledge to contribute to not just aviation but also automotive and electronic engineering. I wish my colleague and DubaiSat-1 manager and his EIAST engineers the best of luck for tonight's launch.

infedel 11 years ago

With all do respect Salah, There is nothing Innocent about looking over your shoulder. Countries with most satellites up there have their citizens complain, so what's up with you? What? You think Sputnik was a Russian Peace offering to the US as well? It is all the same thing. It begins with a lie and ends up with more.

Dr Paul Goodwill Ambassador to my Auntie Margaret 11 years ago

"In US it is illegal to use an encryption method unknown to the gov" - oh really? Utter nonsense. Please quote the law that says this. As for fears of the UAE authorities using this satellite to spy on people... it makes no sense. If you want to spy on people in your own country, there are far better methods - CCTV, hidden bugs in buildings, telecoms monitoring, spyware installation on blackberry phones(!), aircraft surveillance, etc. Spy satellites are useful when you want wide coverage over lands you don't control and don't have easy access to, cannot fly planes over, and so on. The UAE does not have the capability to build satellites - this one is made in South Korea. So impossible to put up spy technology secretly if you buy it from another country.

Doug 11 years ago

I believe the rule in the US is that you are permitted to use any encryption you care to use for your communications. However, a law enforcement agency can get a court order that will mean you must provide the 'key' to decrypt the information. This means that yes, the government can theoretically observe your communications but only after having demonstrated in a court of law that your communications should be read by a third party.

Chris Holtom 11 years ago

Well done Abdul M. Ismail on the informative comment. I do suggest other readers follow his links and also to Salah - this is a well run project by UAE which will help the country in a number of areas. You should be feeling proud indeed. The spying stuff is rubbish and I strongly advise those who think this way to get themselves educated on (A) what satellites can and cannot do and (B) real spying