UAE's student-built DhabiSat blasts off to the International Space Station

The satellite will gather data for space research and can capture high-resolution images from an altitude of 450km

A satellite designed and developed by students from Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi lifted off for the International Space Station (ISS) at the weekend.

DhabiSat, built by 27 graduate students at Yahsat Space Lab, started its journey aboard the Cygnus NG-15 spacecraft launch, attached to an Antares rocket.

The satellite will be deployed from the Cygnus NG-15 resupply spacecraft, following its departure from the ISS in approximately three months.

The CubeSat – a type of miniaturised satellite – will be used to gather data for space research and can capture high-resolution images from an altitude of 450 kilometres.

The launch took place at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, US, and marks another milestone in the UAE’s space journey.

Less than two weeks ago, the Emirates made history when its Hope probe successfully entered the orbit of Mars to begin a two-year data-collecting mission.

"This CubeSat was entirely designed and developed by students with support from our partners," said Dr Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, executive vice president of Khalifa University of Science and Technology.

"It demonstrates another example of Khalifa University's overarching strategy to develop space scientists and engineers who will take the UAE forward in terms of technological progress.

"The launch of DhabiSat marks a major milestone for the UAE's space sector that will have locally qualified and trained manpower equipped by academic institutions within the country."

The mission was carried out in partnership with Al Yah Satellite Company (Yahsat) and Northrop Grumman.

It is the fourth CubeSat to be launched into the skies by the UAE.

The first was Nayif-1 in 2017, followed by MySat-1, which was launched by Yahsat Space Lab three years ago.

Last September, MeznSat lifted-off on board a Russian Soyuz 2.1b rocket from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia.

It was built by students at Khalifa University and the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) and funded by the UAE Space Agency.

Once deployed, DhabiSat will enable students to test custom software modules that they developed in-house.

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