Abu Dhabi: The UAE’s Nayif-1 nanosatellite has successfully been launched into space Wednesday morning.
The satellite was among 104 satellites that were launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) from Sriharikota in India, an island off the coast of the Bay of Bengal. The mission took off at about 8am (9:28am Indian Standard Time)
The launch represents the greatest number of satellites launched in a single mission, a record previously held by Russia.
In a statement sent Wednesday, Navdeep Suri, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, said the launch of Nayif-1 from India has a special significance for bilateral relations between the two countries. He said it represents the level of understanding and cooperation reached for peaceful purposes in space exploration, attained by the visit of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to India last month.
The nanosatellite was developed jointly by the Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre and a team of seven Emirati engineering students at the American University of Sharjah.
“I see this as an important milestone in our vibrant relationship. Building a satellite within a university campus in Sharjah is testimony of the ingenuity, vision and technical capacity of young students [in the UAE]. Its launch along with 103 other satellites today is evidence of India’s growing reputation as a world leader in space technology,” Suri said.
Nayif-1’s main mission objective is to send and receive messages on amateur radio frequencies. The nanosatellite boasts a number of advanced features, including its ability to transfer messages in Arabic. It also holds an active control system board that is uncommon in satellites of a similar size.