WATCH: UAE’s first Emirati-built satellite KhalifaSat launches from Japan

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The UAE's first entirely Emirati-built satellite has successfully launched on Monday morning.

KhalifaSat launched into Earth orbit from the Tanegashima Space Center on Tanegashima, a small island off the southern tip of mainland Japan.

KhalifaSat was third UAE satellite to be launched into space, after DubaiSat-1 and DubaiSat-2.

The satellite took five years to development, starting in 2013 after an announcement about the space bid by UAE Vice President and Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The satellite will spend five years in a Low Earth Orbit where it will capture and deliver high-quality detailed images of Earth to the ground station at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai.

The KhalifaSat Earth observation satellite was launched on board a H-2A rocket. The H-2A rocket also carried a Japanese Ibuki-2 satellite, which is to monitor greenhouse gasses.

The UAE has a fledgling space program with big ambitions.

Two astronauts from the Gulf nation are scheduled to head to the International Space Station in 2019, a first for the country.

It also wants to launch a probe to Mars in 2020 and to colonize the Red Planet by 2117, with a fully functioning city of 600,000.

(With AP)

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