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UAE aims to become space education hub

The UAE is tapping the potential of the young minds to realise the ambitious and futuristic space programmes, top officials from the UAE Space Agency have said.

The UAE Space Agency is aiming to transform the country as a hub for space education, said Dr Mohammed Al Ahbabi, director-general of the agency.

The space agency is helping schools and universities with seed fund to start degree course in space science, have astronauts give lectures at schools, conduct summer camps and open research centers.

“Yes, we are doing a lot of exciting stuff. We had astronauts giving lectures to students at schools. And when asked what they want to be in life, at least some of the students replied they wanted to be astronauts,” he said, adding that these were good signs.

“We are conducting four summer camps with one in Australia. We are including some space topics in the school curriculum. We are doing a lot of activity engaging young minds, especially in the field of astronomy.”

4 varsities to offer space studies

The UAE Space Agency is betting big on universities. “We work with universities to establish facilities in terms of research and development. We established three space research centres – the biggest with the UAE University with investment of around Dh100 million. This center will now become a hub for space education and making satellites. We send students abroad for training, sponsor bright students and try to encourage our universities to provide space degrees. We are working with four universities to offer this and have students coming from abroad to study space science.”

On the assistance provided by the agency, Al Ahbabi said: “We help universities with seed funding. To start space degrees they need help. So we help them establish this type of capability with a hope that they will be sustainable in future.”

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