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Sat 14 Jul 2018 12:34 AM

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University to launch new course to support UAE's space ambitions

Space Science Track will be introduced at the United Arab Emirates University's Physics Department in September

University to launch new course to support UAE's space ambitions

A new Space Science Track will be introduced at the United Arab Emirates University’s Physics Department in September.

The track, which will be made available for undergraduates in the Physics Department, has been created in response to the new UAE’s initiative to be a pioneer in space science.

“This will help the country for graduates from this program to participate in different activities related to space science,” said Professor Ahmed Murad, Dean of the College of Science.
“We have the Mars Scientific City 2117, which is a long plan and needs graduates from science and engineering. This is the first step in that plan.”

He said the second step will take place at the beginning of the semester, when the College of Science will work to prepare another proposal in Space Science as a Minor.

Open to all undergraduate students at the university, the Minor is considered a diluted version of the Space Science Track in the Physics Department. Its aim is to increase the number of students that have interest and ideas about space science and the future direction of the UAE.

“A total of 18 credit hours will be designed for the Space Track program and we will have six new courses in this minor program,” Murad said. “They will include an introduction to the concepts of space science and will hopefully end with a small project that students can handle.”

So far, three new faculty members have been hired in space science, adding to a current member at the university.

Murad believes it will help in building a capacity of the nation in space science, channeling them to study related topics in the future.

Another plan the university has in the pipeline is to establish an interdisciplinary Master program between the College of Science, Engineering, Humanities and Social Sciences and Information Technology in space science in the future.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre on Wednesday announced that 18 candidates are currently undergoing the final stage of the interviews leading up to choosing the first Emirati astronaut corps of the UAE Astronaut Programme.

The final 18 out of 39 candidates previously passed the initial interviewing process which was conducted by qualified specialists from MBRSC.

The UAE Astronaut Programme is preparing the first Emirati and Arab astronaut to join astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS).

Two astronauts from the Emirati corps will be trained in Russia, one primary and one backup. One of them will be joining a crew of Russian commander and an American astronaut in Soyuz MS-12 spaceflight which is planned to launch to ISS in April 2019. The others will receive extensive training for future long duration space missions.

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