Bahrain is setting up a highly-qualified team so it could contribute to launching the country's first artificial satellite within two years, it was announced in a statement by the Bahrain News Agency.
“The Kingdom is planning to optimise the use of space sciences within five years to serve national development and keep abreast of global strides”, said Transportation and Telecommunications Minister, in charge of the National Space Science Agency (NSSA) Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed.
It is not yet clear whether the space agency is planning a satellite launch for military/science needs or to enable television transmission and communications, or if the plan is for a satellite capable of both functions. Bahrain is well served by an extensive satellite coverage via Arabsat as well as Nilesat, the UAE’s YahSat, and the Es’Hail crafts.
Bahrain’s space agency laid out its satellite plan in a call hosted on the Instagram Live account of the Bahrain News Agency. The program involves setting up a Bahrain Space Team of fresh engineering graduates to staff the project and a 2-year training scheme which will commence in October.
“The agency has so far received up to 400 applications to be part of the team”, said that the minister, expecting the number of candidates to increase as the deadline to apply will expire on the 29th of July.
During the Instagram Live broadcast which was followed by up to 4700 people, the minister expressed the hope that the first artificial satellite would be announced within the coming six months.
The National Space Science Agency will cooperate with the University of Bahrain and Bahrain Polytechnic among other prominent academic institutions based in development countries.
The NSSA Minister extended thanks to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to which Bahrain is very closely aligned, and the United Arab Emirates for their support.