Sat 21-10-2017 23:41 PM
DUBAI, 21st October, 2017 (WAM) -- Under the patronage of the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, MBRSC, and General Supervisor of projects of the centre and its strategic and development plans, the MBRSC launched the first edition of the MBRSC Science Event.
H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, delivered a keynote speech at the inauguration of the event where he highlighted the different phases of development that human knowledge has gone through, focusing on the contribution of Arab and Islamic civilisations.
During the event, held at the Etihad Museum under the theme ‘Through Space We Flourish,’ Sheikh Abdullah said that Arab and Muslim ideas have inspired others, and their contributions were often the starting point for the work of other major inventors in history.
Sheikh Abdullah also highlighted the scientific and technological breakthroughs in the last ten years, mainly in the information technology sector, which paved the way for the creation of social media and artificial intelligence, and enhanced the development of virtual reality and 3D printing, among other new technological tools.
He also said that the idea of the ‘spirit of the century’ put forward by many philosophers and thinkers simply means that every century has its own scientific, social, political, economic and cultural character. People who have been successful and influential are those that have understood the spirit of their century, while those who lived in the past have tried to impose it on the present and always failed.
He further said that while it is important to draw lessons from the past, it is also vital to focus on the future. Science is the spirit of our century, he said, adding that humanity is on the threshold of a major leap forward amid the growing interest in science and space technology.
Sheikh Hamdan and Sheikh Abdullah also attended various sessions that were organised on the sidelines of the event. One of the sessions they attended was a presentation by Sarah Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Sciences and Deputy Project Manager, Science Lead of the Emirates Mars Mission, gave an overview of the scientific objectives of the project, explaining how ‘Hope Probe’ will study the atmosphere of Mars that lies thousands of kilometres away.
Amiri stated that the Hope Probe mission will investigate why the Mars atmosphere is losing hydrogen and oxygen gases, and what the connection is between the lower and upper atmospheres of Mars.
She also highlighted the main features of the three scientific instruments used in the probe and why they were selected and what data they would collect and transmit to Earth.
Amiri shared information on how the probe will manoeuvre into Mars’ wide elliptic orbit, between 22,000 and 44,000 km away from the Martian surface, enabling us to provide the first global picture of how the Martian atmosphere changes throughout the day, and between seasons.
"One of the most important goals of the Hope mission is to build a generation of national experts in different areas of science. The project includes initiatives aimed at raising students’ awareness about the work environment in scientific research, in addition to workshops on space and planetary science. It currently includes a group of researchers and scientists who work on a knowledge-transfer programme, sharing their knowledge on scientific analysis methods," she added.
The MBRSC Science Event includes 29 lectures, discussion panels and sessions covering various topics related to space research and technology, as well as awareness activities to promote a culture of research, development and exploration.
The event was attended by more than 800 university and school students, teachers, professors, researchers, and members of the public with an interest in science and space.
There were 31 speakers from MBRSC, the academic sector and scientific community who presented research and scientific papers on various aspects of space science and technology, in addition to sharing their scientific and engineering expertise in various UAE space missions and programmes. These included the Emirates Mars Mission - Hope mission, KhalifaSat, the Mars 2117 Programme, and the NanoSatellite Outreach Program (NSOP).
The Centre also showcased an experiment on planting vegetable seeds in Martian sand simulant. The experiment is aimed at monitoring growth and production rates and comparing it with production rates and times on Earth. Students received planters with seeds, fertiliser, and Martian simulant to conduct this experiment in their homes. They will document and share their results with the Centre’s team through reports and pictures. This test was a continuation of the Mars Simulation Programme. The Science Event also offered a unique opportunity for the audience to taste a variety of foods consumed by astronauts of the International Space Station.
The event was attended by Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future; Hussain Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, and Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Belhoul Al Falasi, Cabinet Member and Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency.
The event featured 1,600 attendees including local and international experts and researchers.