Elon Musk's SpaceX to launch next-generation UAE satellite in 2023

Falcon 9 rocket would carry Yahsat's telecommunications satellite to space

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off at Cape Canaveral. The company suffered a setback last week when one of its spacecraft crashed while trying to land on a barge at sea.  Joe Skipper / Reuters
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The UAE's Yahsat has chosen Elon Musk's SpaceX to launch its next-generation mobile telecoms satellite.

The Thuraya 4-NGS satellite has a 5G core network and has been designed to offer increased coverage and capacity.

A Falcon 9 rocket would carry the satellite into space in the second half of 2023.

“We are delighted to be launching Thuraya 4-NGS with SpaceX. With their capability and capacity for multi-launch sites, we are confident that they are the right provider for us,” said Ali Al Hashemi, group chief executive at Yahsat.

“The agreement marks a significant milestone for Yahsat as we continue to develop our technology-enabled infrastructure to prepare for the next stage of our growth."

The satellite is being developed by Airbus and the preliminary design review was completed in June.

After the satellite begins operations, it is expected the new system would contribute significantly to the company’s growth and its product lines, including maritime, IoT and data solutions.

“For launch of its advanced technology, Yahsat sought a reliable and high-performance ride to orbit. We’re proud it has selected Falcon 9, one of the world’s most frequently flown launch vehicles, and we look forward to a successful mission,” Tom Ochinero, vice president of commercial sales at SpaceX, said.

Yahsat is owned by Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company and went public on July 14, when it started trading on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.

The company has a fleet of five satellites that offers broadband, broadcasting, backhauling and mobility solutions.

Yahsat's Thuraya 4-NGS satellite will launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in 2023. Photo: Yahsat

Updated: September 09, 2021, 8:17 AM