Satellite designed by students to be launched in November
Abu Dhabi: MYSAT-1, the first CubeSat built by Emirati students, will be launched into space in November when Yahsat’s Space Lab completes its flight model following completion of its engineering model, an official said on Sunday.
The MYSAT-1 flight model is scheduled for shipment to the launch service provider in September and the launch is expected to be conducted in the fourth quarter of the year from the mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), on a Cygnus OA-10 rocket to the International Space Station.
The engineering model of MYSAT-1, an exact replica of the flight model, has been rigorously tested for launch and space environment conditions.
The review board has declared its readiness for the production of the flight model.
Speaking to Gulf News, Efthymios Kontogiannis, vice-president of space segment engineering at Yahsat, said, “CubeSat’s engineering model is ready to be used in building the flight model. It will be sent to launch facility providers in September, and will hopefully be launched into space in November this year.”
“This is the very first CubeSat, produced by the students of Master of Science of Khalifa University,” he said.
Images of UAE
The satellite will capture the images of the UAE and will be monitored from a designated control room, he said.
Khalifa University of Science and Technology and Al Yah Satellite Communications Company Yahsat, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company, have jointly announced that the Yahsat Space Lab has successfully completed the Assembly, Integration and Verification (AIV) of the engineering model of MYSAT-1. An educational mission, MYSAT-1’s payload consists of a camera designed to take images of the UAE from space to demonstrate the process of remote sensing. The satellite will be stationed 400km above the Earth.
The satellite will also test a novel lithium-ion battery designed and developed at Khalifa University (KU).
Ameena Adheem, 24, a graduate student of KU who is part of the satellite project, said, “the mission of the satellite is to verify different attitude termination and control system by capturing images and pointing directions using an inbuilt digital camera.”
This is an educational objective of the satellite to train graduate students to become qualified engineers to be part of the UAE space industry, Adheem said.
Adham Al Khaja, 24, another student who is part of the CubeSat project, said: “MYSAT-1 will orbit Earth and take pictures of the UAE.”
Mona Al Muhairi, chief human capital officer at Yahsat, said: “We are proud of the students’ remarkable achievement today, the completion of the MYSAT-1 engineering model marks a significant milestone for the Yahsat Space Lab.”
The Yahsat Space Lab was launched in 2017 at Masdar Institute in collaboration with Yahsat and Orbital ATK — now called Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems — to develop and advance technologies within the space sector in line with the UAE’s advanced space ambitions.