MBRSC launches The 2nd Annual EMM Science Workshop with the participation of former astronaut Marsha Ivins and Dr Bruce Jakosky

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  • MBRSC has announced the names of the winners of the Explore Mars Science Competition
  • Al Shaibani: “Investing in scientific research has substantial economic benefits for sustainable development”
  • Sharaf: “Hope project has encouraged the UAE youth to develop an interest in sciences, technology and space”
Omran Sharaf
Omran Sharaf

Dubai, UAE: The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) – the entity delegated to design, implement and supervise all the phases of the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) – Hope, under the supervision of the UAE Space Agency, has launched the 2nd Annual EMM Science Workshop which aims to shed light on the history of the Red Planet and its evolution over millions of years, as well as other scientific research.

The workshop hosted the former NASA astronaut, Marsha Ivins, and Dr. Bruce Jakosky, Principal Investigator for the MAVEN mission. Under the title of “Space Walk”, Ivins shared her experience in the space field and the missions in which she took part. Dr Jakosky spoke on the topic of “Can Life Exist on Mars?”, and if there is, what would be its forms and manifestations? He also spoke about if there is water on the Red Planet.

The 2nd Annual EMM Science Workshop was held with the participation and the presence of around 120 students, graduates and professors from UAE universities, the international scientific community, as well as students from the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programme. The participants discussed 20 presentations on Mars science and the atmosphere. One of the presentation entitled “Why Mars?” answered questions about the reasons behind conducting scientific research and sending unmanned missions to explore Mars. Moreover, another presentation entitled “The World of Science fiction”, gave an insight about how science is being depicted through various science fiction movies and the truth behind them. Also, 10 posters of those submitted in the Explore Mars Poster Competition were presented in the workshop.

His Excellency Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, Director General of MBRSC, said “Investing in scientific research has substantial economic benefits for sustainable development, especially if optimal investment of outcomes is ensured.”

He added that “Organising events such as the 2nd Annual EMM Science Workshop unleashes the capabilities of the UAE youth and involves them in research projects. This aims to build the capacities of future generations to meet the UAE needs in the industry of advanced technology.”

He also stressed “the need for integrating national competencies and students into the scientific community to develop their research skills, creating platforms for direct interaction, and leveraging the expertise of the researchers and scientists for space and science sector development.”

Omran Sharaf, Project Manager of EMM at MBRSC said: “The Hope project has encouraged the UAE youth to develop an interest in sciences, technology and space. In our turn, we are keen to create opportunities for them to learn more and innovate. This goes in line with the UAE government directives to develop science and technology sector as well as serving the scientific objectives of the project.”

Commenting on the categories of participants that were targeted by the workshop, Sharaf said: “We are aiming at educating all categories and age groups about Mars science and space technology. Thus, the EMM science team targeted participants on two different levels. The first was the entry-level represented by individuals who do not have a scientific background, yet eager to uncover the secrets of Mars, the second was the intermediate level represented by specialists, college students, graduates of the scientific and engineering disciplines and those wishing to deepen their knowledge of Mars science.

“Developing national competencies is a primary target of the Hope project, as driving the technological progress and scientific discoveries in the future needs a qualified generation of experts and scientists who can keep pace with the scientific and knowledge revolution accelerated all over the world,” Sharaf concluded.

At the end of the workshop, winners of the Explore Mars Science Competition were announced and awarded with cash prizes.

About MBRSC:

MBRSC is a Dubai Government entity which aims to promote scientific innovation and technology advancement in Dubai and the UAE. The Centre works on research projects and studies related to space science, in line with the approach of the United Arab Emirates, in its quest to develop the sector and build national academic skills through it.

Among the most prominent tasks entrusted to the Centre are the design, implementation, and supervision of all phases of launching the “Hope Probe” to explore Mars. The Centre is also responsible for all projects related to satellite technology and applications and specialized projects, and advanced technical projects assigned to stakeholders. Also, the Centre provides space imaging and earth station services and support to other satellite services.

In 2009, MBRSC launched “DubaiSat-1” into space, the first remote sensing satellite. In 2013, the second satellite “DubaiSat-2” was launched, while work is underway to launch the third satellite “KhalifaSat”, which is being built purely by Emirati engineering and expertise in the UAE.