UAE Space Agency to host astronauts

The UAE Space Agency is to host a University Roadshow featuring international astronauts as part of the Next Gen Space initiative of the Global Space Congress. The roadshow will consist of a series of lectures at universities across the UAE and aims to raise awareness about space among students.

The appearances come as part of the Space Agency’s efforts to enhance human capital and contribute to the sustainable development of the space sector.

During their presentations, the astronauts will be discussing the milestones of their careers, including the experience of exiting Earth’s atmosphere aboard space shuttles. They will also provide insight into the scientific research carried out as part of their missions, the significance of space exploration and ways for students to pursue careers in the space sector.

The Space Agency announced that it will host former NASA astronaut Marsha Ivins as part of its celebrations for World Space Week, which takes place between October 4th and 10th. Ivins will speak at the American University in Dubai on October 3rd, the American University of Sharjah on the 4th, the UAE University on the 5th and Khalifa University on the 6th. Subsequent lectures are yet to be confirmed.

Dr Khalifa Al Rumaithi, Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, said: “The lectures held by the UAE Space Agency fall within its strategic framework of developing specialized personnel that will be capable of leading the national space sector. They are also part of the educational programs that accompany the Global Space Congress, which is to be hosted by the UAE this January.”

Al Rumaithi also noted that, through these lectures and other awareness raising activities, the Space Agency is seeking to encourage students to continue studies or pursue careers in the space sector and its related fields. This requires extensive knowledge in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, he added, stressing the need to improve students’ competencies in these areas in order for the UAE to play a leading role in the global space sector.

The UAE Space Agency will host the Global Space Congress at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi, from January 31 to February 1, 2017. The event aims to enhance the Space Agency’s efforts in developing specialized skillsets and personnel for future leaders of the national space sector. The congress will also highlight international educational programs that focus on space sciences and technology.