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MBRSC and JAXA to hold joint experiment on ISS with Int-Ball

Joint seminars will be held at UAE universities on September 9 and 10 prior to the test that is scheduled to be conducted by the UAE's first astronaut on the International Space Station later this month.
The UAE astronauts with the Int-Ball.

The UAE’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will together work on an educational project that uses JAXA’s “Int-Ball”, a camera robot for the International Space Station (ISS), when the UAE astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri goes on board the ISS for the first time. The educational project is aimed at developing human resources in the field of space technology.

The project will see Al Mansouri, who is scheduled to reach ISS on September 25, 2019, carry out an educational mission to explain the attitude control of a spacecraft by using the Int-Ball on the Kibo on September 30. The mission will be streamed real-time on the internet. On the same day, the UAE astronaut will have a question and answer session with UAE students in the control room of JAXA’s Tsukuba Space Center and at MBRSC in Dubai.

For UAE students to further understand the experiment on the Kibo prior to the educational mission in space, MBRSC and JAXA will also hold joint seminars on space robot technologies and the attitude control technology of a spacecraft, on September 9 and 10 at the University of Dubai and Khalifa University respectively.

Speaking about the mission, Salem AlMarri, Assistant Director General for Science and Technology Sector and Head of UAE Astronaut Programme, said: “Our partnership with JAXA will contribute to the enhancement of the UAE’s expertise in the field of space technologies. We are particularly delighted that this partnership will enable us to promote space sciences among students in the UAE and inspire them to take interest in the space industry.

“The space sector is at a very exciting stage in the UAE and worldwide with new technologies emerging to aid human spaceflights and support space exploration. We are happy to see our relationship with JAXA, one of the advanced space agencies in the field of space technologies, is going from strength to strength following the successful launch of KhalifaSat in October 2018.”

This project will serve as the springboard for the two countries to conduct future experiments on the Kibo and encourage further cooperation for future international space exploration space exploration.

Koichi Wakata, Vice President of JAXA added: “We’re excited to conduct an educational project using JAXA’s “Int-Ball”, a camera robot onboard the International Space Station (ISS), with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), when the UAE astronaut gets on board the ISS for the first time. When we launched the UAE’s satellite KhalifaSat on the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 40 last year, many people from the UAE including H.E. Ahmad bin Abdulla Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi and H.E. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi of the UAE Space Agency (UAESA) as well as H.E. Al Mansoori and H.E. Al Shaibani of the MBRSC came to Tanegashima to witness the launch. I was there to with them, and I felt their strong passion on space exploration.

“This will be the first cooperative project to utilise the Japanese “Kibo” module on the ISS since the Cooperation Arrangement between UAESA and JAXA was established in 2016. We hope that this educational experiment with the camera robot will lead to future scientific experiments on Kibo during UAE astronauts’ long-duration flight on the ISS and our future cooperation in international space exploration.”