Proud of successfully launched MySat-1
On November 17, MySat-1 was lifted off into space and went on its way to the International Space Station (ISS). It is fully developed by students at the Khalifa University’s Yahsat Space Lab in Abu Dhabi.
The successful launch of the UAE’s student-built nanosatellite MySat-1 “proves” that the country has the necessary infrastructure and educational tools to provide pupils with a career in space science, the team behind the project said.
The nanosatellite was launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia and was built mainly for educational purposes and equipped with an Earth observation camera.
Mohamed Al Ali, vice-president for talent development and administration at Yahsat, told Khaleej Times: “The 20 students involved in the project had no previous experience in building a satellite, and many did not have a background in space science. At Yahsat Space Lab, these students got hands-on research and development training across all phases of the satellite development and operation.
“MySat-1’s successful launch proves that with Yahsat Space Lab, we have created an excellent platform that gives career advancement opportunities to STEM-focused students. It demonstrates the fact that given the right learning environment and infrastructure, interested students can gain solid expertise in space exploration studies and have flourishing careers.”
Al Ali said that he is “confident” there will be more students applying for space-related programmes because of the combined efforts by Yahsat, the UAE Space Agency, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, and other initiatives.
“If students with no experience in this field can build a successful CubeSat, MySat-1, then so can any other ambitious and aspiring student,” he added.
Bushra Alnaqbi is a graduate from the Engineering System and Management and Space Systems programme at the Khalifa University of Science and Technology and is part of the 20 students who built MySat-1. She told Khaleej Times that witnessing MySat-1’s successful launch is a “proud and satisfying moment” for everyone involved in the project.
“All 20 of us come from different engineering backgrounds and put our heads together to learn how to work on building the CubeSat. When we started, we knew nothing about building a satellite and worked from the ground up to achieve this goal. The programme imitated a real satellite programme with the same milestones and deliverables. We got excellent training and the most advanced facilities, thanks to Yahsat Space Lab,” Alnaqbi said. “The launch is a proud moment for the entire nation as it showcases our intellectual capability in space exploration.”