Republic of Mauritius- MRC holds dissemination workshop and launches website on first Mauritian Infrared Satellite

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GIS – 01 March, 2019: The first Mauritian Infrared Satellite (MIR-SAT1), a project of the Mauritius Research Council (MRC), will be launched by the end of this year. In this context, the MRC organised a dissemination workshop and launched a website (https://spacemauritius.wpcomstaging.com/home/) designed especially for disseminating information about this landmark project, today, at the Atul Bihari Vajpayee Tower in Ebène.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Dr R. Y. Moorghen, the Ambassador of Japan in Mauritius, Mr Yoshiharu Kato, the Executive Director of the MRC, Dr A. Suddhoo, and the Chairman of MRC, Dr M. Atchia, were present for the opening ceremony. Representatives from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), professionals, researchers and students attended the workshop. 

 

In her address, Dr Moorghen, underscored Government’s vision of transforming Mauritius into an innovation-driven high income economy through the development of emerging technologies such as Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Space technology. She highlighted that the involvement of Mauritius in the field of satellite technology, is a breakthrough initiative as it is the first time that the country will tap its potential as regards the exploration of space.

The project, she emphasised, is of high interest to future generations as it can considerably enhance their quality of life and bring solutions to issues relating to climate change, maritime insecurity, and traffic congestion. The Permanent Secretary further pointed out that data collected from the satellite will be used for capacity building, advanced research and innovation in areas pertinent to national problems. It can also serve as a model for other Small Island Developing States wishing to embark onto activities and projects in the field of space technology, she added.

Moreover, she called for a structured framework as regards effective implementation of activities and programmes related to space technology and urged further cooperation between Mauritius and Japan in a bid to create new possibilities for exchange of knowledge among the youth.

For his part, Ambassador Kato spoke of the bilateral cooperation existing between both countries and expressed the determination of Japan to support the development of space technology in Mauritius. He also referred to the objective of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and JAXA KiboCube programme which is to provide developing countries, the opportunities to harness their potentials in space technology.

According to Dr Suddhoo, the first-of-its-kind initiative in space technology is a matter of great national pride for Mauritius. He emphasised that the hard work and determination of young researchers and engineers who have benefited from international expertise, has paved the way for future colossal developments in space related activities.  On this score, he also underlined the role of the MRC in encouraging research and development as well as innovation in various sectors.

This very first Satellite initiative by the MRC was selected for the 3rd round of the UNOOSA/JAXA’s KiboCube Programme. Local teams, supported by the MRC, and composed of aerospace engineers, computer and data scientists are currently working on the Mauritian CubeSat which will then be deployed by JAXA from the International Space Station Japanese Experiment Module KiboCube.  

Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: [email protected]  Website: http://gis.govmu.org



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