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The Big Day Arrives for First “Generation Space” Students

The inaugural class of Generation Space: The Space Fundamentals Training Program, (SFTP) has concluded with a graduation ceremony at the UAE Space Agency in Abu Dhabi. The programme, aimed at developing emerging leaders in the UAE space industry, was launched in August by the UAE Space Agency and partners Lockheed Martin and Mubadala.

SpaceWatch Middle East reported about the program earlier this year: HERE and HERE.

Group picture at the Graduation ceremony at UAE Space Agency on 05 December 2016, Abu Dhabi; Credits: UAE Space Agency
Group picture at the Graduation ceremony at UAE Space Agency on 05 December 2016, Abu Dhabi; Credits: UAE Space Agency

The 4-month long space-focused workforce-training programme included classroom training, guest lectures, and other major events at the Lockheed Martin Center for Innovation and Security Solutions in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi. Participants engaged with key players and visited facilities throughout the UAE space industry immersion, including Mubadala Development Company, Thuraya, Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, Al Yah Satellite Communications Company, and others. The programme also included a US space industry immersion program, where the engineers attended the launch of OSIRIS-REx at Cape Canaveral in Florida, along with job shadowing, touring Lockheed Martin’s virtual reality facility, and viewing satellite production facilities.

Dr Khalifa Al Romaithi, Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, said: “The UAE Space Agency, in line with its long-term strategic goals, works to support the development of a generation of engineers and scientists. This is being done through several world-class educational initiatives and training programmes which the UAE Space Agency facilitates in cooperation with leading organisations and partners from around the world.”

Dr Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency, added: “These engineers will play a major and integral part in leading the UAE space sector in the future. They will support the sector by developing it further to ensure the UAE enjoys a leading position amongst other nations with advanced space programmes, as they have proven their abilities during different activities, lectures and projects.”

Robert S. Harward, Chief Executive Lockheed Martin UAE, said: “We congratulate the class of 2016 on completing this exciting training program to support their nation’s journey to space.” He added, “This programme reflects the best of a public-private sector partnership. We worked together with the UAE Space Agency and Mubadala to support the young people who will lead the UAE’s space industry in the future. Lockheed Martin is proud of our partnership to train and inspire the UAE space explorers of tomorrow, and we look forward to watching the next generation accomplish great things for their country and for the industry in the future.”

The programme included more than 350 contact hours and coursework. Participants also completed mentor-guided research projects.

SpaceWatch Middle East congratulates all graduates and wishes  them success in this exciting industry both in the UAE and abroad!

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