Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, praised the launch of the Sharjah Sat 1 satellite that blasted off to space on Tuesday.
It has an expected life span of about three years during which it will conduct various scientific tasks such as studying the Sun, X-ray emissions and space weather during its mission in low-Earth orbit at an altitude of 550km.
It is equipped with sensors, camera and communication devices and will boost the University of Sharjah's capacity to handle larger projects.
Sheikh Sultan watched the launch at the Sharjah Academy for Astronomy, Space Sciences and Technology at the university. The satellite was built by teams from the academy and university, in co-operation with international partners.
Sheikh Sultan, who is president of the university, said it continues to work hard to establish scientific and research projects that serve humanity and enable students and researchers to develop their skills.
"We start our year by reaching space and we commend the efforts of the Sharjah Academy for Astronomy, Space Science and Technology, and we are proud of the Emirati cadres of engineers and researchers who worked on the completion of Sharjah Sat 1," he said.
The launch comes in a busy year for the UAE space programme. The country's Rashid Moon rover blasted off in December on a journey that is expected to last five months before a lunar landing is attempted.
Sheikh Sultan congratulated Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, and the UAE leadership on the launch of Sharjah satellite, saying that the UAE has taken successful and steady steps towards space exploration.
Dr Hamid Al Naimiy, chancellor of the University of Sharjah and director general of the academy, thanked the Ruler and Deputy Ruler for their great support. The event was also attended by officials from the university, teaching staff and a group of specialists, researchers and students.