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Sultan Al Neyadi interacts with students during Ham radio session

In addition to getting the opportunity to ask Al Neyadi questions, students were also given a tour of MBRSC and updated about the centre’s projects.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has announced that two ham radio sessions with astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi from the International Space Station (ISS), under the ‘A Call from Space’ event were successfully completed over the course of two days, in collaboration with the Emirates Amateur Radio Society (EARS) and Emirates Literature Foundation (ELF). Ham radio, or amateur radio, uses a broad spectrum of frequencies to communicate between individuals, groups, and even remote regions and space, making it a valuable communication tool.

The ham radio sessions, the second and third in a series of 10, were held at the MBRSC Ground Station, as the ISS passed over the region. More than 50 students from various schools around the UAE participated in the events, as part of the ELF in Space initiative, between MBRSC and Emirates Literature Foundation, which aims to bring space closer to the community.

Adnan AlRais, Mission Manager, UAE Astronaut Programme, said: “Through these ham radio sessions with Sultan, we strive to ignite a passion for space and science in the next generation. At MBRSC, we firmly believe that such initiatives stimulate curiosity and foster a deep understanding of the vast potential that space exploration holds. Our ultimate goal is to inspire young minds to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, contributing to the UAE’s vision of becoming a leading nation in the fields of science and space.”

As part of the sessions, the students were first introduced to MBRSC and their latest projects, followed by a tour of the facility, which gave them a glimpse into the labs, workstations, and state-of-the-art technologies employed at the Centre. Furthermore, a presentation about space stations provided the attendees with a broad view of human endeavours in space. The students also received comprehensive training on ham radio, unravelling the complexities of the critical communication tool used since the 20th century.

The highlight of the programme was the live interaction with astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi. The opportunity allowed participants from schools across the UAE the chance to ask Al Neyadi questions about living in microgravity, communicating with family and friends, scientific experiments being conducted on the ISS currently, how they keep track of time in space, life on the ISS, challenges of living in space and staying fit, among other space-related activities.