uae youth encouraged by project space forum
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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UAE youth encouraged by Project Space Forum

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Arab Today, arab today UAE youth encouraged by Project Space Forum

http://www.arabtoday.net/home-335/trump-signs-memo-to-leave-tpp-agreement-202541
Dubai - Arab Today

Youth in the UAE were encouraged to pursue science and space studies during the first-ever Project Space Forum in Dubai launched by the Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC).

Leading space scientists from the UAE and beyond are participating at the two-day event, which started at Dubai World Trade Centre on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, attended the forum and toured its exhibition areas. The event is being held under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. Shaikh Hamdan is also the chairman of MBRSC.

Shaikh Mohammad praised the idea behind organising the forum, which he described as a global platform that gathers experts, researchers and scientists from around the world. He said that such experts, through their lectures and seminars, get to meet Emiratis who are studying and interested in space sciences.

Shaikh Mohammad added that these lectures and seminars will help enrich the knowledge and expertise of Emiratis, allowing them to benefit from those with many years of experience in the field.

Shaikh Mohammad expressed his pride in Emirati youth, and reaffirmed his full support for them and the operations of any national youth organisations in order to achieve their objectives of developing a space sector that is on a par with global standards.

Later, Shaikh Mohammad toured a gallery held on the sidelines of the forum. The gallery contained pictures of renowned global pioneers, satellites and spaceships.

Also present were Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai; Shaikh Mansour Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum; and Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates airline and Group.

The MBRSC team members, who worked on flagship UAE projects such as the DubaiSat and KhalifaSat satellites, and the Emirates Mars Mission, told hundreds of attending students to remain steadfast in their pursuit of science studies and careers.

The space officials also briefed the forum on various accomplishments of the UAE in the field of space projects. Dr Mohammad Al Ahbabi, director-general of the UAE Space Agency, said the UAE operates and owns six satellites in orbit and is working on six more satellite projects, including the UAE Mars probe, called Hope, which will reach Mars by 2020 to study its atmosphere.

The country’s space sector employs more than 500 people, half of them Emiratis, added Al Ahbabi. He said the UAE has become the “regional leader and hub for space services and technology”, with a direct investment in the sector worth around $5.5 billion (around Dh20.2 billion).

Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, chairman of the board of directors at MBRSC, said the development of UAE’s space sector is also of strategic significance, as “we’re getting ready for the post-oil era”, adding that diversification away from oil was key to the transformation. He said the space sector held promise as “a driver of economic growth and sustainable social development”.

Meanwhile, during a panel discussion on the Knowledge Transfer Concept, the MBRSC team members discussed their journey at the centre, starting out as 20-year-olds.

Salim Al Merri, assistant director-general for scientific and technical affairs at MBRSC, told Gulf News on the sidelines of the forum that the event was the first of its kind in the UAE — on such a scale — to feature UAE and international space experts. He said the maiden edition of the forum has a “student-centric” focus.

“We’re not really talking about the technology, the satellites themselves; we’re talking about how we [young Emiratis] gained the knowledge … We’re connecting with the students and saying ‘you can do this’,” Al Merri said. He pointed out that the average age of the “just under 200 people” working at MBRSC is 27, with women representing 40 per cent of its workforce.

Also encouraging the youth to stay committed to their dreams was Dr Noureddine Melikechi, dean of the Kennedy College of Sciences University of Massachusetts at Lowell. Dr Melikechi is a member of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission as well.

After his presentation on how laser technology used in the current Mars mission can be developed to detect cancer, Dr Noureddine said it was up to the youth to advance such research so that one day the incidence of cancer can be lowered to just one per cent of the global population.

Students also listened to an inspirational talk by Abby Harrison, popularly known as Astronaut Abby, who founded “The Mars Generation” programmes to educate students about the importance of human space exploration. She said leaps in space travel demonstrate that “no dream is too big or unattainable when we try our hardest”. Abby added that the UAE leadership and MBRSC have “invested in this country [UAE] to be the leaders in space exploration

source : gulfnews

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