Varsity collaboration shoots for the stars

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 24 Sep 2019

Universiti Putra Malaysia and Universiti Sains Malaysia, in collaboration with Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, successfully launched two high-altitude balloons to the Earth’s stratosphere on Sept 1,2019 in Kampar, Perak.

PETALING JAYA: Two local universities have made the nation proud after successfully launching two high-altitude balloons to the stratosphere.

Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) collaborated with Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University to perform this near-space experiment in Kampar, Perak on Sept 1.

Called the Malaysia-Singapore Near Space Experiments Programme (NSEP) 2019, programme director and UPM Department of Aerospace Engineering senior lecturer Dr Ahmad Salahuddin Mohd Harithuddin said the programme took two years of planning.

“My colleagues and I were in Singapore for a symposium and we met a few people from NTU. We discussed the possibility of working together on a student project and after much planning, we finally made it.

“This is not just about a collaboration on paper but something that involved students and lecturers.

“What is good for students is also good for the university, ” he told The Star.

Ahmad Salahuddin said the project involved a total of 30 people, including students, lecturers and alumni from the universities, with 20 Malaysian students from UPM and USM being among them.

He said it has been the varsity’s wish to conduct international collaborations with other universities.

“And this time we made it happen. What’s amazing is that we were involved in almost everything together, from the preparation, to the launching of the balloons, to the search-and-rescue mission.

“We are now planning something bigger next year and hopefully more international students will be involved, especially from within the region, ” he added.

In a statement issued yesterday, UPM said the first balloon carried a payload for space photography and an electronic module for testing in the near-space environment.

“This hydrogen-filled balloon flew for about 50 minutes and landed 30km southwest from the launch area, ” it said.

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