ABU DHABI // Yahsat, the satellite development firm, has picked an Emirati engineering student to watch the launch of Abu Dhabi's first commercial satellite from South America this week.
Shamma al Dahmani's essay on the benefits of satellite communications and her interest in wireless engineering was picked from 160 submissions. Her prize was an all-expenses-paid trip to French Guiana to watch the satellite lift off. The launch is scheduled for March 31 at 3am UAE time.
"Shamma was selected for her insightful and passionate response," said Jassem Mohamed al Zaabi, the Yahsat chief executive. "We could tell from this submission that participating in this opportunity would provide fantastic exposure for Shamma to continue to investigate her interest in satellite communications."
Ms al Dahmani, 21, said in her essay that she was proud of the country's move to build a satellite communications industry. Yahsat, owned by Mubadala Development, the Abu Dhabi Government's strategic investment company, is spending Dh2.2 billion on the satellite, which will provide commercial television and broadband internet services to 20 countries.
Yahsat's new website for the launch, yahsatlaunch.ae, has details of the event and the satellite's orbit. The site will continue competitions for giveaways of iPad computers until tomorrow.