KUWAIT: Space lovers will now have their chances to see their dreams of being involved in space activities come true and be a part of the future of space science in Kuwait.

Ghanim Khalid Al-Otaibi is a 32 years old mechanical engineer and graduate from Kuwait University, a former employee at Kuwait Oil Company and a master degree holder in astronomy, founded the Space Generation (SG) with the support of the Space Generation Advisory Council, The Ministry of State for Youth Affairs and the Arab Planning Institute.

Kuwait Times spoke with Otaibi to know more about the initiative. Otaibi is a member of Space Generation Advisory Council which is a global non-profit organization by United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and aims to represent university students and young space professionals at the United Nations. Along with this, they also work to promote international cooperation in the peaceful exploration of space.

“I’m trying to be a link between the youth and the decision makers to establish a space program in Kuwait,” he said, adding that the Space Generation aims to gather the youth of Kuwaitis and non-Kuwaitis alike to express their thoughts and ideas on the subject. The local team of SG will help students and young professionals who are between the age of 18 and 35 years old to write a proposal to establish a space program in Kuwait.

Otaibi noted that 10 groups will be selected and each group will consist of 2-4 members. “I will support the participants with periodic meetings, educational resources and a proposal template about space science, space engineering, space business, and space policy” Otaibi said. “International colleagues from the Space Generation Advisory Council also expressed their willingness to support with technical issues and discussions held online.”

He explained that the participants will have great tools to work while some participants can do CubeSat which is a type of miniaturized satellite for space research. After finalizing the proposal, teams will be required to present their proposals on March 3rd to an audience for discussion. After the discussion, we will have mentors from the Arab institute for Planning and they will coach them how to present their ideas and their suitability in Kuwait. “I aim to establish nonprofit organizations, for students who like to have perform \research in the international space station or someone who wants to translate novels in space field to Arabic. The goal is to deliver the idea to decision makers in University of Kuwait and the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS).”

Space Generation was not the first attempt to establish a space program in Kuwait. In 2009, Otaibi joined a committee who are reviewing international cooperation in peaceful uses of outer space, studying space-related activities that could be undertaken by the United Nations and encouraging space research programs in Vienna. “I talked about the benefits of having space program in Kuwait to the committee. After that I was doing lectures in science club about different space subjects and astronomy biology.”

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