Irshad Salim | Caravandaily.com
ABU DHABI — UAE’s first nanosatellite developed by the students at American University of Sharjah in partnership with The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center is carrying the first Arabic poem ever to be sent to space.
“I picked three lines from a poem composed by one of the UAE’s most famous poets, Ousha bint Khalifa Al Suwaidi, better known as Fatat Al Arab, that I felt captured the sentiments and the journey of Nayif,” Ibrahim Al Qasim, project supervisor and manager of strategic research at MBRSC told The National newspaper of UAE.
Nayif – meaning high, lofty and mighty – is carrying these words: “I will ascend to the peaks of greatness, and will not descend. Next to the tall and noble one, who is beautiful in looks. Nayif, whose fate is to be Nayif, and all the Arabs desire and accept him.”
The 10 cubic centimeters Nanosat weighing about 1 kilogram is being operated and controlled by a team of students and MBRSC from a ground station at the university campus in Sharjah.
Four of the seven engineering students who worked on Nayif-1 has been selected to join the MBRSC team to work on the Emirates Mars Mission 2117, Hope Mission to the Red Planet in 2021, and KhalifaSat – due for launch in 2018. These students majored in fields including electrical, mechanical and computer engineering.
The nanosatellite’s main mission objective is to send and receive messages on Amateur Radio Frequencies and will produce a communication footprint of 5,000 km.
Nayif-1’s launch coincided with UAE’s announcement of ‘Mars 2117’ mission — project for establishing a ‘mini-city’ on the Red Planet.