Work is Ongoing to Launch the First Bahraini Satellite in 2021
Dr. Mohamed Ebrahim Al-Aseeri, CEO of the National Space Sciences Agency, emphasized that the fulfilment of the vision of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the country’s beloved ruler, to bring Bahrain to the ranks of advanced countries in the field of space science in order to achieve comprehensive and sustainable development, is the essence of the Agency’s work.
He said in a special press statement that the vision of His Majesty the King was a breakthrough entitled determination to transform this vision into a deliberate plan, and a reality that Bahrainis are proud of, noting in this regard that the agency has implemented many joint projects with higher education institutions to meet the vision of His Majesty, may God protect him.
He explained that a team from the agency is currently working with the University of Bahrain to implement a number of projects that focus on the use of Artificial Intelligence applications in the interest of protecting the environment, and that there are similar projects with other higher education institutions aimed at serving the agricultural sector in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Stressing the agency’s keenness to support and promote research activities, with the care of the scientific and engineering disciplines, as the agency presented a set of ideas for the implementation of research projects related to space applications and opened the door of participation for students in scientific fields.
Al-Aseeri indicated that the agency is about to implement more projects related to serving the space sector, in partnership with higher education institutions, and to make optimal use of applications related to serving comprehensive and sustainable development. He stressed that the current year (2021) will witness the launch of more scientific competitions directed at students of higher education institutions, some of which include actual applications in space in cooperation with bodies inside and outside Bahrain. He added that the agency communicates continuously with higher education institutions with the aim of urging them to participate in international competitions, and to present scientific research projects related to space science, in exchange for the agency to guarantee some aspects and provide various benefits. This step comes after the agency achieved great success in organizing and implementing several similar competitions last year, which received wide and striking participations.
Regarding the Kingdom’s preparations to launch the first satellite in Bahraini hands, Al-Aseeri explained that the first Bahraini satellite is expected to be launched to the International Space Station during the third quarter of 2021, while the last quarter of the same year will witness the launch of the satellite from the station into space, expressing his pride and glory in the imminent launch of the first Bahraini satellite into space, and with the approaching return of the members of the Bahrain Space team currently on scholarships to study and obtain higher qualifications in fields related to space engineering and science.
Al-Aseeri added that the team also participated in building a number of nano-satellites, which are among the most popular satellites for space research centers, higher education institutions and space agencies in this decade, as well as countries seeking to create a sustainable space sector on solid foundations.
Noting in this regard, the fruitful cooperation with the UAE Space Agency and Khalifa University in the United Arab Emirates. He praised the distinguished achievement level of the members of the Bahrain Space Team, their scientific participation and research efforts, and their implementation of more than one joint satellite within a short period of time, praising the team members’ proven capabilities towards this marvelous achievement – launching the first satellite – bypassing all challenges, and transforming the noble royal vision into reality, according to the strategic plan drawn up by the agency, which includes specific and clear goals, foremost of which is building national capabilities to create a national base with pioneering and distinguished satellite scientific levels.
Al-Aseeri also praised the interest and support of the team from the National Space Science Agency, especially from His Excellency Engineer Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications, Chairman of the Agency’s Board of Directors, through his continuous follow-up to the team’s work and his constant eagerness to meet with them throughout their studies and training. He stressed that the agency, since the issuance of the royal decree related to its establishment, has worked to establish regional and international cooperation relations and joint projects with space agencies, technical, industrial and active research institutions in the field of space science, and has become the representation of the Kingdom of Bahrain in the membership of a number of international organizations and international committees specialized in the fields of space. The agency also contributed to the establishment of the Arab Space Cooperation Group, and actively participated in a large number of international forums, scientific conferences and specialized seminars.
Al-Aseeri stressed the importance of acquainting the Bahrain Space Team with the latest scientific developments and research in the fields of space, that provided them with the opportunity to learn about the latest developments in this field, and to identify the challenges, which opened the doors for them to strive to work on development and overcome challenges by transforming them into opportunities through introducing improvements or making changes to achieve better results.
Dr. Al-Aseeiri noted the attention given to the specialists of the agency’s affiliates, which enabled them to implement their own software and write algorithms comparable to what the major specialized companies consider, stressing that this interest contributed to raising the levels of these specialists in the applications of Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things.