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Seven candidates begin training as part of Arab Space Pioneers Programme

The programme combines theoretical and hands-on practical training by enabling participants to contribute to the UAE Space Agency’s present and future projects.

The UAE Space Agency has selected seven candidates to join its Arab Space Pioneers Programme’s inaugural edition, the first intensive scientific training programme of its kind in the Arab world.

The training sessions were conducted remotely and held in partnership with the Space Foundation, an American non-profit organisation founded in 1983, which provides a gateway for information, education and collaboration for space exploration, science and activities related to space.

The Arab Space Pioneers drew 37,000 applications from creative talents, researchers and inventors across the Arab world within two weeks of launch.

The programme, overseen by the UAE Space Agency, aims to prepare Arab talent across various disciplines of space science, research and technology, and nurture the scientific competencies of Arab youth that are passionate about space exploration and science.

The candidates represent the space science talent in the Arab world, and they include Muhammad Al-Sayed Subai, Salah Al-Din Jalal, and Nouran Al-Sayed, from Egypt; Nouran Al-Youssef and Fatima Al-Abdullah, from Saudi Arabia; Muhammad Zakaria, from Algeria; and Muhammad Al-Joroub, from Jordan.

The Arab Space Pioneers Programme was launched in July 2020 to coincide with the Emirates Mars Mission. Last month’s launch of the Talent Track phase represents a step forward in preparing the next generation of Arab space scientists and explorers to carry the torch of Arab space exploration into the future.

Commenting on the training process, Abdulla Al Shehhi, Acting Head of Space Science & Technology, UAE Space Agency, said: “Engaging our talented youth in the possibilities of space is critical to developing a world-leading space sector. As we pursue new horizons in this future industry, we must invest in the people, just as much as the advanced technologies we need to explore new frontiers. The Talent Track phase of the Arab Space Pioneers Programme is an important step forward in this direction. It reflects the vision of the UAE’s leadership that any Emirati achievement and is an achievement for the Arab world, which can act as a force for good and source of inspiration for millions of people.”

He added: “The Talent Track sessions have been designed in line with international best practices to empower Arab students, motivate and inspire their passion for this sector. The Arab Space Pioneers Programme embodies the role the UAE plays in investing in Arab minds. It aims to translate a passion for space into a tangible contribution to the dynamic ecosystem we are building. This programme also enhances Arab space cooperation, under the umbrella of the 14-member Arab Space Cooperation Group.”

Shelley Brunswick, Chief Operating Officer of Space Foundation, stated: “I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the UAE Space Agency for supervising the innovative Arab Space Pioneers Programme. It has attracted some of the best talents from the Arab world and inspired students to deepen their understanding of the space sector and develop new skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The UAE’s rapid development in all space-related fields is commendable and underscores its commitment to develop knowledge and innovation-driven economy that also enhances cooperation with the US, the European Union and others.

The programme has three distinctive phases: Talent Track, Graduate Track and Expert Track.