The UAE Space Agency revealed a Mars habitat exhibition at the Qudwa Teachers’ Forum being held in the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC). The display comes as part of the Agency’s educational initiatives and campaigns raise awareness for the national space sector and the Hope Probe mission to Mars.
Coinciding with the World Teachers’ Day on 5 October, the Qudwa Teachers’ Forum is being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the UAE Ministry of Education (MOE) and Abu Dhabi Education Council’s (ADEC).
The Mars Habitat stand is set in 2050, when manned missions to Mars are expected to be technologically feasible. Visitors are taken on a journey through five different zones, each focusing on a separate aspect of space science, exploration and habitation. The aim of the exhibition is to apply aspects of classroom science curriculum to real world scenarios.
Beginning with an introduction to Mars and its environment, the first section also provides an overview of the solar panel technology that is responsible for powering probes and spacecraft during interplanetary journeys.
The exhibition then moves inside the habitat, demonstrating possible solutions to producing and processing food on Mars. The section details plans for a greenhouse and plantation, as well as discussing ways to combat nutritional deficiencies.
The third section, compiled in collaboration with Masdar Institute, displays current space-related applications of 3D printers, explaining various technologies used in gathering space resources. The area also describes desalination processes and ways for astronauts to extract and process water on Mars.
The fourth zone deals with the physical effects of space on astronauts. A bedroom and exercise area demonstrates how different gravitational environments affect daily life and the body. The section also explains the importance of exercise in space and accurate monitoring of vital organs.
Finally, the fifth section is dedicated to the UAE’s Mars ‘Hope Probe’, explaining how research into the Martian environment carried out by the probe will contribute to the scientific community’s understanding of the Red Planet.
The stand is geared towards providing teachers with fresh and innovative ways to connect classroom curricula to real-world events, falling within the Space Agency’s strategy to advance science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.
HE Dr Khalifa Al Romaithi, Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating World Teachers’ Day with the UAE’s educators here today. Education has been a primary focus and central component of the Space Agency’s strategic vision for the future. Our education initiatives, such as this Mars Habitat exhibition, are a principal means for raising awareness of, and interest in, our national space sector.”
He continued: “Throughout our educational programs we work closely with a range of local and international partners and stakeholders. Not only does this contribute greatly to our international standing, it also allows us to introduce new scientific methods and curricula into our education syllabi and professional training programs. These have been highly successful in encouraging students and young professionals to focus on STEM courses, which reaps great rewards for the space industry and other sectors.”
He added: “Furthermore, with the launch of the Mars Hope Probe just a few years away, there is an increasing national interest in Mars and its exploration.”
The Space Agency ran a Mars Habitat design competition in 2015 that saw high levels of public engagement.