UAE-based online space education hub Edutech4Space and popular Indian institution BITS Pilani's Dubai Campus (BPDC) entered into a partnership to launch into orbit a satellite called MAHASAT.
According to the agreement, the satellite be assembled and launched into orbit by engineering students from BPDC in cooperation with other international institutions, Edutech4Space will train the students for the mission.
Dr. Mylswamy Annadurai, also known as the Moon Man of India and recipient of Padma Shri, will be in charge of supervising the satellite's construction. He was the brain and scientist behind several of India's successful Moon and Mars missions and served as the previous director of the ISRO Satellite Centre.
As part of the mission, students will be introduced to a variety of technical topics, including design and development, manufacturing and integration, testing and launch, as well as on-orbit control of systems like Picosats and Cubesats.
MAHASAT will be built in phases by faculty members and students, a news release noted. In the first phase, drones will be used to build and test a picosatellite. The cubesat engineering model will then be created for the final launch, after which a ground station will be established on the campus of the university using data gathered in the field, the release added.
The name of the satellite comes from Sanskrit and Arabic origins. ‘Maha’ in Sanskrit means ‘large’, and ‘Al Maha’ is another name for the Arabian Oryx—BPDC’s campus mascot—and is a sign of endurance.