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Kibo Utilization Office for Asia (KUOA)

Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre joined Kibo-ABC initiative!

Last Updated: June 18, 2020

The Kibo-ABC secretariat received a letter from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in the UAE expressing their wish to participate in the Kibo-ABC initiative. MBRSC officially joined the initiative on 29th of January, with all Kibo-ABC members supporting their participation.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, founded in 2006, is home to the UAE National Space Programme. The Centre builds and operates earth observation satellites, offering imaging and data analysis services to clients around the world. The Centre launched DubaiSat-1, DubaiSat-2, and launched their latest satellite KhalifaSat from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan. KhalifaSat was developed 100% in the UAE by a team of highly qualified Emirati engineers.

The Centre is responsible for the development of the Emirates Mars Mission and the Mars Hope Probe, a mission to reach Mars orbit by 2021 and gather key scientific data about Mars' atmosphere. The Hope Probe was recently transported to its launch site at the Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan, ahead of schedule. MBRSC is also home to the UAE Astronaut Programme, which saw the launch of Hazzaa Ali Almansoori, first Emirati Astronaut, to the International Space Station on a scientific mission on 25th September 2019.

Mr. Salem AlMarri presenting at APRSAF-26 in Japan (Credit: JAXA)

Ms. Mariam Al Zarouni presenting at APRSAF-26 in Japan (Credit: JAXA)

Comment from MBRSC:

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has actively supported international space collaborations and recognizes the advantages of being part of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Kibo-ABC initiatives. MBRSC is currently involved in the Kibo-Robot Programming Challenge, a competition that allows students to programme free-flying robots on the International Space Station.

MBRSC and JAXA first collaborated on the Kibo module when Emirati Astronaut Hazzaa Ali Almansoori performed an educational project using the "Int-Ball", a camera robot onboard the International Space Station. The event telecast live from space was followed by a Q&A session with the UAE students in the control room of JAXA's Tsukuba Space Center and at MBRSC in Dubai. MBRSC and JAXA have also collaborated for seminars on space robot technologies and the altitude control technology of spacecraft for UAE students in the University of Dubai and Khalifa University in the UAE.

"The desire to explore and learn is something innate that humans share. Giving children a glimpse into the wonders of space and explaining the pursuit of space exploration and the technologies involved with it is a strong resource for encouraging and creating interest in space science and technology. We are excited to partner with JAXA's Kibo-ABC initiatives which has helped add value to our space education efforts. We have been fortunate that this collaboration has not only benefitted students in the UAE, but also inspired them," said Salem AlMarri, Assistant Director-General and Head of the UAE Astronaut Programme, MBRSC.

"We are willing to continue this collaboration and reach out to the larger student population in schools and universities across the UAE. MBRSC is one of the pioneering Space Centres in the region and we believe there is potential to take up further projects of this kind, which promote space science and technology beyond its traditional roles. We look forward to a great partnership with JAXA," added Salem AlMarri.

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