Emirates transports first UAE-manufactured space satellite

15 / 02 / 2018

Emirates SkyCargo has transported KhalifaSat, the first satellite developed and built by Emirati engineers in the UAE.

As the first step in its journey to space, KhalifaSat was flown from Dubai to Incheon International Airport in South Korea on a chartered Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777 freighter. Emirates SkyCargo also unveiled a special branded truck to mark the event.  

The KhalifaSat project was launched in 2013 with the aim of manufacturing the first space satellite on UAE soil. Following its launch in 2018, the remote sensing satellite will provide images of earth for  a variety of industries.

“Over the years Emirates SkyCargo has transported a wide variety of unusual cargo but being able to transport the first satellite manufactured in the UAE is a unique honour. We are delighted to bring our expertise in air transportation to the table on this historic and momentous occasion,” said Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional senior vice president, cargo.

“Emirates SkyCargo worked with us over a three month period to make sure that the entire transportation process went smoothly,” said Salem Al Marri, assistant director general for scientific and technical affairs, at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC).

Teams from Emirates SkyCargo and MBRSC worked together from November 2017 to prepare and plan all the steps in the movement of the sensitive cargo from Dubai to Incheon airport.

The satellite was first moved from MBRSC’s manufacturing facility in Dubai to the Emirates SkyCentral DWC freighter cargo terminal at Dubai World Central airport on a dedicated remotely monitored Emirates SkyCargo truck.

A number of trial loading exercises were also conducted by Emirates SkyCargo and MBRSC to ensure that operations went smoothly during the actual transportation of the satellite.

In addition to loading and transportation, detailed planning was involved from Emirates Skycargo to ensure aircraft and crew availability as well as obtaining all relevant permissions for operating a chartered freighter flight to Incheon International airport.

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