Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has confirmed the successful liftoff of their H-2A Launch Vehicle, manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. This rocket is carrying UAE’s first home made satellite which has been names as “KhalifaSat” and Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite “GOSat” for Japan also known as “Ibuki-2“.
Japanese H-2A being launched from Tanegashima Launch Site. Image Copyright © AP.
MHI launch services also confirmed the successful separation of both the satellite into their own targeted orbit. GOSat-2 had been separated after 16 minutes and KhalifaSat at 24 minutes from liftoff.
KhalifaSat is the first satellite built by the UAE engineers and it is the third remote sensing satellite owned and operated by Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC). Focusing on the global satellite manufacturing operations, MBRSC believes this launch will boost the UAE position and its competitiveness worldwide.
JAXA live broadcast-ed the launch event on YouTube which you can watch from here.
As part of UAE’s long term ambitions, the country is aiming to send their first two astronauts to the International Space Station by 2019 and a probe towards the Mars by 2020.