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UAE’s MeznSat satellite all set to launch from Russia

UAE’s MeznSat satellite all set to launch from Russia

The MeznSat project will contribute to the UAE Space Agency’s objectives to develop national capabilities and enhance scientific research

The UAE’s MeznSat satellite will launch from the Plesetsk space center in northwestern Russia today, September 28, at 11.20 GMT (3.20pm local time).

The MeznSat project, initiated and funded by the UAE Space Agency, contributes to the latter’s objectives to develop national capabilities and enhance scientific research.

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, and will encourage advanced and locally relevant space-oriented research.

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.

“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, and 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 UAE Space Agency said on its website.

“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.

“As a result, the primary scientific objective of this project is aimed at exploring the performance of sensing in the shortwave infrared (SWIR) region (1000–1650 nm) to detect the levels of CH4, CO2, and H2O in order to derive the atmospheric concentrations of important GHGs. The secondary/tentative scientific objective is to predict algal blooms in advance,” the statement read.

On July 20, UAE’s Emirates Hope Probe took off from the Tanegashima Space Centre on a 493.5 million km long journey, in what is the Arab world’s first mission to Mars.

Read: Video: UAE Hope Probe bound for Mars successfully launches from Japan

The Hope probe is anticipated to enter the red planet’s orbit in February 2021.

Also read: UAE Hope Probe: To Mars and beyond

The probe will provide a complete picture of the red planet’s atmosphere and layers, examining the reasons for Mars’ surface corrosion and what led to the planet losing its upper atmosphere.

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