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Kuwait forays into space with first satellite launch

The project was undertaken by Kuwait University and funded by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences

Kuwait’s first satellite, ‘KuwaitSat-1’, was successfully launched into space onboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 from Florida’s Cape Canaveral, state-owned Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) reported.

The project, which has been in the works for three years, was undertaken by Kuwait University and funded by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences. 

It comes as GCC countries continue to embark on their own space exploration journeys. UAE companies are working on international projects, including the UAE-made MBZ-SAT, which will be launched by the end of 2023 as the second operational Emirati satellite, Salem Humaid Al Marri, director-general of Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre told state-run WAM news agency in April 2022.

He further highlighted the ongoing cooperation with regional and international companies in establishing a local space industries centre.

While in September, Saudi Arabia announced that it will send the first Saudi woman to space in 2023 as part of the Saudi Space Commission’s (SSC) new astronaut program,

And the following month, Oman-based International Emerging Technology Company (ETCO) said that the first Omani satellite, ‘Aman’, was successfully prepared for its launch into Low Earth Orbit, at Newquay, Cornwall, in the UK.

The Arab Space Cooperation Group was established in March 2019 in Abu Dhabi to serve as a platform to co-ordinate regional space efforts.

Saudi Arabia was a founding member of the group, along with Bahrain, Oman, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan, Kuwait and the UAE.

The global space tech industry was worth about $4.5 trillion in 2021. This figure is expected to reach $10 trillion by 2030.

According to the most conservative estimates by SpaceTech Analytics, the sector accounts for 5 percent of global GDP.