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|06 December, 2018

Knowledge Summit 2018: Day Two Puts Spotlight on Space Exploration

Panellists included astronaut Nicole Stott, aerospace engineer Mishaal Ashemimy, KhalifaSat project manager Amer Al Sayegh Al Ghafi, and Eisa Al Shamsi, Yahsat Executive Vice President.

Knowledge Summit 2018: Day Two Putsnbsp;Spotlight on Space Exploration

Dubai: – Space exploration and the UAE’s achievements in this field took centre stage on day two of the Knowledge Summit 2018 at a session titled “Knowledge Localisation for Space Inhabitation”.

Organised by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF) under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, and the directives of MBRF Chairman H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Summit is held on December 5-6, 2018, at the Dubai World Trade Centre bearing the theme “Youth and the Future of the Knowledge Economy”.

Ex-NASA astronaut Nicole Stott discussed her flights on the American space shuttle and the three months she spent working on board the International Space Station. “Flying in space really brought me back to Earth. While we do complex things in space, including robotic operations and science experiments, my time in space taught me three simple lessons: We all live on a planet, we’re all earthlings, and the only border that matters is that thin blue line of atmosphere that blankets us all,” she said.  

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Also speaking at the session was Mishaal Ashemimy, a Saudi-American Aerospace Engineer and Founder of MISHAAL Aerospace, who is well-known on social media for encouraging young Arabs to become involved in the space sector. Of her interest in the cosmos, she said: “It started when I was six, my mother took me into the desert in Saudi Arabia at night. When I looked up into the sky and saw the high density of stars, I was mesmerised. That was my inspiration. I decided the only way to figure out what’s in space is to go there and to do that I have to be someone who makes rockets.”

Amer Al Sayegh Al Ghafi, Project Manager of KhalifSat, Senior Director of Space Engineering Department, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, described his pride in leading his team, with its four main pillars of satellite development, the Hope Probe Emirates Mars Mission, the Mars 2117 programme and the UAE astronaut development programme. “We are 100% UAE nationals, around 175 in number. Our average age in the centre is 27 years, so we are a very young team. We have a good mix of male and female – around 40% of the employees are female, most working in the technical and scientific sections,” he said.

Eisa Al Shamsi, Executive Vice President, Yahsat, said: “So far, we have had 16 graduates in two batches. We currently have 11 students enrolled in this programme. We’re trying to build a world-class national engineering talent pool focused on this industry. We have various majors within these students, but it is worth mentioning that 94% of our graduates are UAE nationals.”

The Knowledge Summit 2018 brings together more than 100 speakers including experts, decision makers and stakeholders from around the world in more than 45 discussion panels.

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© Press Release 2018

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