Live: UAE-Bahraini nanosatellite Light-1 launched on SpaceX rocket

Next milestone is the launch in orbit of the satellite from the ISS in Q1 2022.


Nandini Sircar

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UAE Space Agency/Twitter
UAE Space Agency/Twitter

Published: Tue 21 Dec 2021, 1:15 PM

Last updated: Wed 22 Dec 2021, 5:33 PM

The joint UAE-Bahraini nanosatellite ‘Light-1’ will be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) from the United States at 2pm (UAE time) on Tuesday.

The next milestone will be the launch in orbit of the satellite from the ISS in the first quarter of 2022.

Light-1 will take off onboard a SpaceX CRS-24 flight on a Falcon 9 rocket after having undergone rigorous safety and environmental tests for thermal, vibration and communication systems.

The nanosatellite was built and designed in collaboration between the UAE Space Agency and Bahrain's National Space Science Agency (NSSA), the project was executed at Khalifa University and New York University Abu Dhabi.

Eng. Abdullah Al Marar, Head of the Space Projects at the UAE Space Agency said: “It is considered to be a cargo satellite launch to the ISS and this happens approximately four times a year and the success of these launches is very high. The payload or the CubeSat will be transported to the ISS through this launch and received onboard the ISS.”

He added, “it will then be deployed from a module called the Japanese Experiment Module (KIBO). So, the launch has been coordinated with the Japanese Space agency (JAXA). The deployment is going to be through a deployment module during Q1 of 2022. But this is greatly dependent on the activities that will take place onboard the ISS, the logistics and so on.”

The mission is not only geared towards detecting the bursts of gamma rays helping the scientific community to understand the cosmos but is poised to aid other sectors like the aviation industry as well.


Francesco Arneodo Professor of Physics New York University Abu Dhabi - Center for Astro, Particle and Planetary Physics explains, “One advantage of our detectors is that they are very fast. They have a very fine time resolution that can resolve the time structures of these bursts of gamma rays with very high definition. Knowing how these TGFs are generated can not only help us know more about our universe and how the atmosphere works when there is thunderstorm but can also help understand how many gamma rays are generated and how harmful they can be.”

He adds, “for instance when an airplane passes such phenomenon how harmful it can be for the cockpit, for the instrumentation of the plane, for the crew and passengers.”

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