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UAE Space Agency launches Kibo robot programming challenge with MBRSC

This comes as part of the Agency’s efforts to develop the skills of the youth in science and technology and inspire them to get involved in the space sector.
The UAE Space Agency, in collaboration with Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC), has launched the Kibo Robot Programming Challenge (Kibo-RPC), an educational competition about creating a program to operate free-flying robots in the International Space Station (ISS).
Students from all over the UAE can take part in this international challenge, organised by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The UAE Space Agency is accepting submissions until April 19.
Participating teams in Kibo-RPC will be asked to create a program to operate NASA’s free-flying robot Astrobee to stop air leakage in JAXA’s Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) at the ISS, known as “Kibo”. The preliminary round of the competition will be held in June 2020, where all UAE participants will run their codes using a virtual simulator provided by JAXA and NASA, to select the winning team who will be representing the UAE in the final round of the competition in Japan, in September 2020.
Commenting on the program, HE Eng. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director-General of the UAE Space Agency, said: “One of the main objectives of the UAE Space Agency is to raise students’ awareness of the importance of space technology and encourage them to pursue STEM education. The Kibo Robot Programming Challenge gives participants the chance to develop great problem-solving skills, preparing them to lead the space sector in the future.”
HE Yousuf Hamad AlShaibani, Director General of Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, remarked: “We have made giant leaps in space research over the years, and our continued success is a culmination of our investment in human capital. Developing the capabilities of our future generations is key to the sustainable growth of the UAE’s space sector. The Kibo Robot Programming Challenge is an excellent opportunity for students to showcase their innovative ideas and critical thinking to solve real-life problems on the International space station.”

Kibo-RPC initiative is part of Asian Beneficial Collaboration through Kibo Utilization (Kibo-ABC) membership, which is a collaborative program aiming to promote ISS/Kibo utilisation in the Asia-Pacific region.