Dubai school hitches ride to space on Indian satellite

Dubai - It is the first ever Indian satellite which carried various names to space to create awareness about space science.

(Supplied photo)
(Supplied photo)

By Nandini Sircar

Published: Tue 9 Mar 2021, 8:21 PM

A Dubai school's name has taken off to space.

A microsatellite, Satish Dhawan Satellite (SD Sat) that lifted off to space on February 28, carried the name of Gems New Millennium, Al Khail. This happened thanks to collaboration with Chennai-based Space Kidz India (SKI).

“We received a boarding pass for the SD Sat Mission in the name of GEMS NEW MILLENNIUM, AL KHAIL,” said Masha Nazeem, innovation lead at Gems NMS. “On February 28th at 8.54am, our students were excited to watch the satellite launched with our school’s name into space by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) onboard the PSLV-C51 (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) rocket.

"Appreciating our school’s efforts to inspire students in taking up space technology as their career path, SKI was happy to add our school’s name in a flash drive on its SD Sat.”

The 3U cube satellite named after the former Chairman and one of the founding fathers of the Indian space Programme Professor Satish Dhawan also carried a copy of Indian epic Bhagavad Gita and the picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Flying alongside are 25,000 names on SD SAT with an aim to spread public awareness about space.

“SD Sat is the first ever Indian satellite which carried various names in a flash drive to space in an effort to create awareness, generate curiosity and to get more people fascinated about space science,” Nazeem said.

GEMS NMS also has a space club to foster students’ interest in space activities through interaction with space industry experts.

“GEMS New Millennium School launched Al Amal Space Club in October 2020, taking its name after the UAE’s space Hope Mission which has been an inspiration for many. We had Dr Hasan Hariri, who is the director of the Dubai Astronomy Group inaugurate the club. We have over 150 students from Grade 5 to Grade 12 registered in this club”, explains Nazeem.

The school also has plans to launch a student-made balloon satellite --a miniature satellite to be made using a balloon rocket with the help of Space Kidz India by 2022.

“Once onsite classes begin, we plan to start designing the same,” said Nazeem. “We aim to launch it by 2022. Our students have also designed different projects addressing problems pertaining to space technology. One space project was related to solving medical emergencies in space and another one looked at eliminating space debris, which is a major problem in space. These projects have been greatly appreciated by Space scientists who joined the Al Amal webinars.”

The school’s space club also organizes different monthly programmes with different space technology experts. “We had Dr Mylswamy Annadurai who is known as the ‘Moon Man of India’, Programme director of Chandrayaan and Mangalyaan Mission of ISRO, talking to our students. He joined us virtually during the NMS annual science week and shared his career journey and accomplishment and inspired students during the session.

“We keep organizing different initiatives to enhance students’ learning experience pertaining to 21st Century skills in pursuit of creating future-ready individuals.”

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