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KSAT signs Agreement with MBRSC to support UAE’s First Lunar Rover

Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has contracted with Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) to provide direct communication between the Moon and the Earth. The Emirati Lunar Mission (ELM) Rashid rover will communicate with KSAT’s Svalsat ground station located on the island of Svalbard.

SpaceOps, Dubai 8 March 2023: 

The ELM Rashid rover is on its way to the Moon at present onboard ispace’s Hakuto-R spacecraft, which is expected to land in the second half of April. After landing, the Rashid rover will exit the lander to perform exploration science. It will communicate with Earth via link with the lander, but also have direct to Earth communications capability. To complement MBRSC’s own antenna, the Rashid rover will use the largest antennas at Svalbard.

Situated at 78-degrees North, the Svalsat station can provide unique continuous 24/7 visibility for Lunar missions for 2 weeks each month. Svalsat is one of several locations worldwide that are part of KSATLunar, the reference global network for Lunar missions.

– From Svalbard to the Moon! - We are excited about the opportunity to support our friends from MBRSC KSAT” CEO Rolf Skatteboe said. “We have a long-standing partnership over more than a decade, providing communications to several of their satellites and they are hosting a KSAT antenna at their site in Dubai. The MBRSC has done an incredible job with their ELM Rashid rover, and we look forward to supporting them by Connecting Space and Earth”.

Representantives from MBRSC and KSAT celebrating the cooperation during SpaceOps2023. From right: Mohammed Ahmed Al Ali, Adnan Alrais, Salem Humaid Al Marri, Director General of MBRSC, John Heskett, KSAT CTO, Igor Alonso Portillo, KSAT Sales and Business Director, Mustafa Al Blooshi and Hamad Ahmad Al Marzooqi. 

Header image: Artist's impression of the UAE's lunar rover called Rashid