Orbital Space has announced that QMR-KWT is due to be launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on June 24, 2021.
QMR-KWT – ‘Moon of Kuwait’ – translated from Arabic – is a 1U cubesat and will be Kuwait’s first smallsat. The smallsat’s functional testing has been completed at the EnduroSat facilities and the craft has been integrated with an ION Satellite Carrier, D-Orbit’s orbital transportation vehicle, as part of the plan to put it in orbit. QMR-KWT is now at SpaceX facilities waiting to be integrated with its Falcon 9 rocket in the coming days.
QMR-KWT mission control and ground station will be located at Dubai Digital Park, Dubai Silicon Oasis as part of the collaboration agreement between Orbital Space and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) under the umbrella of MBRSC Space Ventures for startups. Established in August 2018, Orbital Space is the first company in the Arab World to provide access to space through cubesat technology. Orbital Space offers services to design, build, test and operate cubesats to students and amateurs to help them gain the know-how to build a satellite and to also support them if they want to engage in a space-related experiment.
“Our goal is to make space accessible to all, and as a startup, we are excited to work with other startups to meet our mutual objectives. Once in space, QMR-KWT will be the outcome of efforts from all young companies including Orbital Space, EnduroSat, D-Orbit, and even SpaceX, which is less than 20 years old company. The Falcon 9 mission — dubbed Transporter-2 rideshare mission — will carry several dozen satellites from the surface of the Earth to outer space at around 500 km above sea level in a sun synchronous orbit.” said Bassam Alfeeli, Founder and General Manager of Orbital Space.
According to Nada Alshammari, Director of Educational Programs at Orbital Space, QMR-KWT is an educational space mission and is already inspiring and empowering students to become the future professionals in the space sector. The main education mission of QMRKWT is ‘Code in Space.’ Nada added. “Code in Space is an opportunity for students to develop and test new software solutions by writing software code to be uploaded and executed on the satellite’s onboard computer – for the first time ever. We have been receiving proposals from students around the world and we invite students from everywhere to challenge themselves and connect with this unique opportunity.”