Students get galactic at this amazing new space lab

University students are being called on to play their part with the opening of a new science facility that could see them launching their creations into the cosmos.


Located at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, the Yahsat Space Laboratory is the latest initiative that aims to encourage students to contribute to the space sector.

Equipped with the latest tech, including 3D printers to simulate technical design, the laboratory will allow students to design, create and launch their own CubeSats, a type of miniature satellite.

From research on gamma rays to robotics and spacecraft dynamics, the new lab represents just one of the ways that the UAE’s universities are pitching in to further research in the country’s space sector.

“An initiative like this draws students from so many fields such as science, technology and engineering,” explained Dr Tod Laursen, president of Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research.

“This is not a trivial thing – there aren’t many nations in the world that have made this level of commitment in the space sector on a comprehensive level with industry, government and education involved,” he added.

“Thirty years ago, the whole idea that a group of students could fabricate, design, analyse and test a satellite on a university campus was absurd. Space is no longer hypothetical for them; if anything, it’s even more tangible.

“These students will actually launch something in a short period of time, and that really shows that the UAE and its universities are on the cutting edge.”

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