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Satellite designed by UAE students set for launch

MeznSat, a satellite initiated and funded by the UAE Space Agency, took off to space from the Plesetsk space centre in northwestern Russia on Monday. Developed by students from the Khalifa University and the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK), MeznSat is a 3U CubeSat built to detect Greenhouse Gas (GHG) concentrations.

The satellite will be launched on the Russian Soyuz Rocket. Once in orbit, the team of students will then monitor, process, and analyse the data from the ground station in YahSat Space Lab at Khalifa University as well as a ground station in AURAK.

The project aims to offer the UAE space industry with qualified well-trained graduates through hands-on experience. In addition, MeznSat opens windows for advanced space-oriented research relevant to the UAE.

The UAE Space Agency said on its website: “Climate change has widely been attributed to the increase in GHGs in the atmosphere as a result of human activities. The impacts of climate change are expected to include shortage of water quantity and quality in most arid and semi-arid areas. (It will cause) low agricultural productivity throughout the tropics and subtropics, accompanied by damage to ecosystems and biodiversity in these areas, and changes in forests and other ecosystems.

“The State of the Environment (SoE) Report for Abu Dhabi highlighted key vulnerabilities associated with climate change, principally sea-level rise coastal flooding; increased salinity of coastal aquifers; impacts on the marine environment; heat stress; built environment impacts; more extreme weather events (floods, droughts, etc.); increased risk of dust storms; and risk from airborne contaminants (e.g. pesticides).”

Carbon Dioxide and Methane are the two most prevalent Greenhouse gases. Both emissions (methane and carbon dioxide) have to be addressed and monitored in order to effectively reduce the impact of climate change.

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