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UAE begins work on first indigenous satellite

Khalifa Sat will be able to take high quality images from an orbit of 600km above Earth. (Image source: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is all set to begin work on its first satellite, Khalifa Sat, that will be built and manufactured entirely by Emiratis and be ready by 2017

Launching the project, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum informed that the satellite is scheduled to be placed in orbit by 2017 and is expected to weigh less than 350kg, according to a local news agency.

?Khalifa Sat is a message to all Arabs that Arab ushering into the space era is neither out of reach nor impossible and our state will be a leader in this industry as long as we have the confidence and courage to enter into competition with major countries in this field,? he said.

The satellite, to be built by 45 engineers, is the third to be launched by Dubai and Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST).

It will be able to take high quality images down to a sub-metre resolution of 70 cm from an orbit of 600km above Earth and will have an increased data downlink capacity to allow more rapid image transmission.