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UAE’s MBRSC And Japan’s JAXA Sign STEM Education Agreement For Use Of ISS Kibo Technology

ISS, courtesy NASA
ISS, courtesy NASA

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) of the United Arab Emirates and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will cooperatively perform an educational project that uses JAXA’s “Int-Ball”, a camera robot for the International Space Station, when the UAE astronaut gets on board the International Space Station for the first time.

In this project, the purpose of which is human resources development in the space technology field, the UAE astronaut staying on the International Space Station (ISS) from 25 September 2019 (scheduled) will carry out an educational mission to explain the attitude control of a spacecraft by using the Int-Ball on the Kibo, scheduled on 30 September 2019.

The mission will be streamed real-time on the Internet. Also on the same day, the UAE astronaut will have a question and answer session with the UAE students in the control room of JAXA’s Tsukuba Space Center and at MBRSC in Dubai.

Additionally, in order for the students to further understand the experiment on the Kibo prior to the educational mission in space, MBRSC and JAXA will cooperatively hold seminars on space robot technologies and the attitude control technology of a spacecraft, geared towards UAE students on 9 and 10 September 2019 in the University of Dubai and Khalifa University respectively.

With this project being the jump-start, we hope that this will lead to future experiments on the Kibo and further cooperation in future of international space exploration space exploration.

Salem Al Marri, Assistant Director General for Science and Technology Sector and Head of UAE Astronaut Programme, said, “Our partnership with JAXA will contribute to the enhancement of the UAE’s expertise in the field of space technologies. We are particularly delighted that this partnership will enable us to promote space sciences among students in the UAE and inspire them to take interest in the space industry.”

“The space sector is at a very exciting stage in the UAE and worldwide with new technologies emerging to aid human spaceflights and support space exploration. We are happy to see our relationship with JAXA, one of the advanced space agencies in the field of space technologies, is going from strength to strength following the successful launch of KhalifaSat in October 2018,” added Al Marri “We’re excited to conduct an educational project using JAXA’s “Int-Ball”, a camera robot onboard the International Space Station (ISS), with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), when the UAE astronaut gets on board the ISS for the first time,” said Koichi Wakata, Vice President of JAXA.

“When we launched the UAE’s satellite KhalifaSat on the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 40 last year, many people from the UAE including Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi of the UAE Space Agency (UAESA) as well as other officials of the MBRSC who came to Tanegashima to witness the launch. I was there to be with them, and I felt their strong passion on space exploration.

This will be the first cooperative project to utilize the Japanese “Kibo” module on the ISS since the Cooperation Arrangement between UAESA and JAXA, which was established in 2016.

“We hope that this educational experiment with the camera robot will lead to future scientific experiments on “Kibo” during UAE astronauts’ long-duration flight on the ISS and our future cooperation in international space exploration,” he added.


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