UAE's Al Yah 3 satellite ready to provide internet services after successful tests in space

Emirati engineers play key role in mission

epa06475813 A handout photo made available by the European Space Agency (ESA) and French Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) on 26 January 2018 shows an Ariane-5 rocket, carrying the 'SES-14 and 'Al Yah 3' television and communication satellites and the NASA 'Gold' probe, taking off from its launch pad in Kourou, French Guiana, 25 January 2018. Media reports state that there has been technical problems shortly after the launch when the ground control lost contact with the rocket's upper stage. An 'Arianespace' operator spokesperson confirmed the contact-loss but was cited as saying that all missions were going on after the payload satellites had been detected in their orbit positions.  EPA/P. PIRON / HANDOUT  HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

The Al Yah 3 satellite has successfully completed in-orbit testing and is ready to support the launch of commercial services, operators Yahsat said on Wednesday.

It will now provide high-speed internet access to some of the most isolated communities in the world.

Al Yah 3 was launched into space on an Ariane 5 rocket on January 26 from French Guiana.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, tweeted a message of support on Wednesday.

"The success of the Yahsat satellite mission, with the participation of talented young Emiratis, embodies our vision to build a better future for UAE and humanity," he posted on Twitter.

Al Yah 3 is set to extend's Yahsat’s coverage to 19 additional markets across Africa covering 60 per cent of the population.

It also marks the Abu Dhabi satellite broadcasting company's first entry into Brazil where 95 per cent of the population will have access to its satellite broadband services.

Masood Mahmood, chief executive at Yahsat, said the launch brought many new opportunities.

"We are excited by the opportunity Al Yah 3 brings in our ability to deliver reliable and affordable satellite broadband services to parts of the world that need it the most," he said.

Wednesday's news is the culmination of a project which has seen Al Yah 3 designed and built with Emirati engineers leading at every stage of the process in partnership with manufacturer Orbital ATK.

“It has been an incredible journey for us and a very proud moment for both Yahsat and for the UAE," said Mr Mahmoud. "We are now focusing on the commercial launch of our services using Al Yah 3 over the coming weeks.” Mahmood added.

In the minutes after its launch last January, Arianespace lost contact with the booster. It transpired, however, that Al Yah 3 had separated from the rocket and was working normally.

The issue arose after the satellite was “inserted into an orbit that differed from the flight plan”, Yahsat said at the time

But the company said a revised flight plan would be implemented to achieve the correct orbit. Now that's been borne out by Wednesday's news.


Read more: 

Yahsat confirms UAE’s latest satellite is safe in orbit with a revised flight plan

Update: Al Yah 3 in orbit despite earlier lost contact

UAE's newest satellite will provide internet to remote global communities