The UAE Space Agency, in cooperation with the University of Sharjah, the Sharjah Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences (SCASS) and the Japanese Chiba Institute of Technology, has organised the first ever scientific initiative on space meteorology in the UAE. The initiative stems from the Agency’s agreements with Japan on the peaceful exploration of space and the development of joint-research and exploration projects.
The initiative included the participation of more than 100 students from the University of Sharjah on an exploration mission to find meteorite remains in the Maliha Desert of Sharjah. The students utilized new techniques, including drones, advanced surveying technology and robots. The Agency also contributed to lectures on the National Space Program, the importance of space exploration, space objects and other related topics at the University’s campus.
Commenting on the initiative, H.E. Dr. Eng. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency, said: “This initiative is the result of our close collaboration with the University of Sharjah as well as our growing relationship with a number of Japanese research, academic and scientific institutions. Through cooperating with international institutions in the field of space, we seek to organize scientific space projects with an aim to improve our national sector’s capabilities, develop new capabilities and foster a new generation of leaders in the space sector.
“The excellent reception of this initiative by the students and other participants reflects the enthusiasm of our youth and their interest in understanding the different fields within the space sector as well as the increasing interest by students to study scientific materials in order to join the sector in the future. This comes in line with numerous government policies and strategic plans to develop such capabilities in cooperation with international partners,” added H.E. Al Ahbabi.
The initiative also included the organization of an introductory session on the iShuttle portal, an online portal which aims to increase Agency engagement with scientific communities in the UAE by launching a variety of challenges and encouraging the participation of students and the public who are invited to submit their ideas and solutions. The first challenge invited students to participate and provide their proposals for a scientific experiment being conducted with the use of a high-altitude balloon.