Abu Dhabi: The UAE Space Agency and EXOLAUNCH on Sunday announced a satellite developed by UAE students will be launched into orbit by the end of this year. The agency signed an agreement with EXOLAUNCH, a leading launch service provider specialised in small satellites, for the launch of MeznSat during the Global Space Congress in March.

MeznSat was developed by students from the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) and Khalifa University. It will operate using a short-wave infrared spectrometer to measure the presence and distribution of methane and carbon dioxide in UAE’s atmosphere. A team of students will monitor, process, and analyse the data sent from the satellite at a ground station in YahSat Labs in Khalifa University.

Dr Eng Mohammad Nasser Al Ahbabi, director general of the UAE Space Agency, commenting on the upcoming launch said: “The MeznSat project falls within the framework of the UAE Space Agency’s strategy, which aims to develop Emirati capacities and expertise, and support scientific research. The satellite will play a key role in studying the Earth’s atmosphere and providing high quality data which will help address the many challenges facing our planet.”

Speaking about the next steps of the MeznSat project, Eng Abdullaa Al Marar, head of Space Projects in the UAE Space Agency, said: “During the upcoming months we will assemble the satellite and then conduct comprehensive tests in a simulated space environment to ensure that MeznSat will operate efficiently once it is in orbit above Earth. It is crucial that we test the satellite prior to its launch at the end of this year.

“MeznSat will join the outstanding collection of satellites developed, owned and operated by the UAE for a number of purposes, ranging from remote sensing and Earth observation to communications and navigation, collectively showcasing the UAE’s position and leadership within the space industry,” he added.