Manama, 13 July 2022 (TDI): Bahrain and UAE have launched a joint nanosatellite in International Space Station (ISS) supervised by the Japanese Aerospace Space Agency.

The joint nanosatellite is named ‘Light-1’. It is inspired by Bahrain’s King Hamad’s book called “The First Light” which symbolizes the Kingdom’s growth in the scientific field.

The Light-1 represents the region’s first scientific mission to track and study Tressterial Gamma-ray Flashes (TGFs) from thunderstorms and cumulus clouds. The data gathered from Light-1 will be shared globally to encourage cooperation in research centers around the world.

The Japanese Experiment Module in ISS launched Light-1 into orbit. The Japanese Aerospace Space Agency was supervising it and it launched at 14:06 UAE time.

After going through rigorous safety and environmental tests, the Light-1 took off onboard a SpaceX CRS-24 flight on a Falcon 9 rocket.

A team of Bahraini and Emirati engineers and scientists created and designed the research spacecraft. Nine Bahraini students and fourteen Emirati students from Khalifa University and New York University Abu Dhabi were on the team.

Vice President of Khalif University, Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi said, “The launch of Light-1 reflects the intense collaboration by all stakeholders.”

“As the UAE-Bahraini nanosatellite reached its orbital position, this collaboration initiative will stand out as the best example of what the scientists in the Arab world can achieve”, he added.

Vice-Chancellor of NYU Abu Dhabi added, “We hope that the satellite will provide new data on terrestrial Gamma-ray flashes and that scientists around the world will benefit from them”.

A strengthened cooperation

The joint nanosatellite represents a milestone of cooperation in the field of science and technology between the two countries. Bahrain’s National Space Science Agency (NSSA) in collaboration with UAE Space Agency built the Light-1.

“We support all our partners across the UAE, Bahrain, US, and Japan for their support in the making of this mission possible”, stated Director-General of UAE Space Agency, Salem Bhutti Al Qubaisi.