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Students in Dubai shortlisted to send LunaSats to the Moon in 2023

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It is a proud moment for Curtin Dubai’s Engineering School as a group of five Mechanical Engineering students – Keerthana Dana Sekaran, Mohamed Adnan Azmie, Wajiha Khan, Veronique Dina Itot Ngono, and Hussain Mehdi – have been shortlisted to participate in GLEE’s Science and Technology mission to send hundreds of leaf-sized spacecrafts to the moon.

GLEE is a space mission that aims to deploy 500 LunaSats to the moon’s surface to test data gathering in a new generation of space exploration. GLEE uses innovative technology that launches tiny spacecraft called ‘ChipSat’ initially developed by graduates at Cornell to drastically cut down the costs of spaceflight and exploration in Low Earth Orbit. Expanding on the concept, GLEE introduced LunaSats based on ChipSats to evolve and reflect GLEE’s mission of launching to the lunar surface.

Through its mission, GLEE invited students from all around the world to apply and be part of the large-scale program that enables students and teams to program and design their own LunaSat with an integrated sensor suite which will be mentored by GLEE program staff throughout the entire design, build, test, launch, and data gathering process.

Curtin Dubai’s student team will be mentored and led by Associate Professor Pon Selvan, Head of School for Science and Engineering. The team will participate in GLEE’s remote workshop along with over 212 teams from across the globe and will commence work on their Lunar kits in the fall of 2022. Students will receive their foundational LunaSat kit which will have an area to add more sensors from an approved list and provided to the team by the GLEE Science Team. They will also be able to add code to the LunaSats for the sensors allowing them to carry out their lunar science mission.

The GLEE educational platform will provide access to educational modules, which will cover an Introduction to LunaSat, Arduino programming, Solar Panels and Power Management, Sensors in very low temperatures, Accelerometer, and Magnetometer, along with a Final Mission Simulation to strengthen overall subject knowledge.

“The GLEE mission is an exceptional opportunity for our students. I am excited to see the various avenues that will open up for Curtin Dubai students through their participation in an important and unique scientific mission such as this. We at Curtin are immensely confident that our students will take advantage of this opportunity which will pave the way for future astronauts and space explorers.” said Assoc. Prof. Pon Selvan.

Curtin Dubai’s engagement in GLEE provides an array of opportunities for students, giving them access to industry engagement on a global scale, cementing the knowledge and practical understanding associated with their studies, enhancing their profile and portfolio, as well as contributing to the mandatory 480 hours of engineering work experience required for them to graduate.

“This project is a fantastic opportunity for students like myself who are deeply passionate about the fields of aerospace and astronomy,” says Keerthana Dana Sekaran, a Mechanical Engineering student and one of the participating students who is looking forward to embarking upon her very own Apollo moment of this generation.

For more information on GLEE, please visit

To contact Curtin University’s campus in Dubai and learn more about the Engineering School and its industry-relevant work experience, call 04-2452500 or visit

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