KhalifaSat has captured a high-resolution image of the Baikonur Cosmodrome, a spaceport located in an area of southern Kazakhstan where Emirati astronauts Hazza AlMansoori and Sultan AlNeyadi are currently being quarantined ahead of Al Mansouri's launch to the International Space Station on September 25th.
AlMansoori and AlNeyadi arrived in Baikonur on September 10. On September 11, they conducted several tests to ensure the readiness of the Sokol space suit, which they would wear inside the Soyuz spacecraft, during the launch trip to the ISS and the return trip from the ISS back to Earth.
Furthermore, the main crew and the back-up crew conducted the first fit-check of the Soyuz MS-15 to ensure that the devices, equipment, and payload, were in place, and to record any observations for the engineers responsible for the spacecraft.
The mission is part of the UAE Astronaut Programme, which is overseen by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC). The UAE Astronaut Programme is the first integrated programme in the Arab region to prepare national cadres to participate in human space flights and carry out various scientific missions, in addition to becoming a part of the research carried out by the global scientific community to devise solutions to many challenges facing humanity.
The UAE Astronaut Programme is funded by the ICT fund of the TRA. Launched in 2007, this fund, which is the first of its kind in the Arab world, aims towards supporting research and development within the ICT sector in the UAE, helping it to grow into a nationally significant industry with a leading place in the world.
The KhalifaSat, an Earth Observation satellite orbiting the Earth from pole to pole, bagged five patents and developed seven space innovations that have given the satellite an enhanced digital camera; fast image download and high-speed communication capabilities from its position anywhere above the world; an automatic satellite control system with increased storage capacity; a satellite positioning technique that allows it to simultaneously capture multiple 3D images; as well as advanced target positioning for capturing high quality images with pinpoint accuracy and high speed.