Dubai, UAE, 12 November 2019: The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) launched the 22nd edition of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) Humans in Space Symposium (HIS), at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. The UAE is the first country in the MENA region to host this conference, from 11 to 14 November, 2019. The first day witnessed huge participation from local and international space agencies, and students from different educational levels.
The opening ceremony was attended by His Excellency Hamad Obaid AlMansoori, Chairman of the MBRSC, His Excellency Yousuf Hamad AlShaibani, Director General of the MBRSC, Jean-Michel Contant, Secretary General of the IAA, Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of CNES, Salem AlMarri, Head of the UAE Astronaut Programme and Member of the IAA, Hazzaa AlMansoori and Sultan AlNeyadi, the two Emirati astronauts, in addition to senior officials and experts in the space sector, major space agencies, and employees from MBRSC.
HIS 2019 discusses multidisciplinary studies of humans in space, the journey of UAE's first human space flight mission, biology and biotechnology in space, the latest research and developments in the field and exchanging new experiences and ideas to contribute to enriching life in space, with the participation of leading space agencies.
Developing the national space sector
“Hosting the IAA's HIS supports MBRSC's commitment to host events that contribute to the development of the national space sector. It supports MBRSC's strategy to prepare Emirati talents to continue the process of technical innovation and scientific research in space science and technologies, and achieve the ambitions of our wise leadership to promote this vital sector,” said AlShaibani.
We meet in the UAE to achieve our common objective of promoting human space flights, through the exchange of knowledge, expertise, research studies, and the latest developments in this field,” added AlShaibani.
AlShaibani stressed that the sessions, workshops, and panel discussions that were held at HIS, and the research papers that will be presented, support this ambitious vision.
MBRSC presented awards to the UAE Armed Forces, the Event's Security Committee, the ICT fund of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), the UAE Space Agency, the University of Dubai, the Mohammed Bin Rashid University Of Medicine and Health Sciences, the Emirates Radio Amateur Society, Etihad Airways, Emirates Post, and Dr. Hanan AlSuwaidi, a flight surgeon. The awards were given as a token of appreciation for the entities that contributed in the success of the first Emirati astronaut's mission to space, under the slogan ‘Zayed's Ambition'.
Success and challenges
Hazzaa AlMansoori, the first Emirati astronaut, and Sultan AlNeyadi, took part in day 1 of IAA's HIS 2019, where they highlighted the UAE's success in the space sector, and the challenges they faced while preparing for the mission. AlMansoori and AlNeyadi also discussed their future plans and ambitions for the UAE's future human space flights, and ways to sustain the UAE Astronaut Programme.
AlMansoori and AlNeyadi stressed that the success of the mission was a result of strategic partnerships with major space agencies, including the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the European Space Agency (ESA), and NASA.
The UAE will host the 22nd IAA HIS in Dubai in 2019. The UAE was chosen as the host due to MBRSC's proposal submission to the IAA. The proposal was discussed at a meeting by the IAA Board of Trustees, headed by Peter Jankowitsch, President of the IAA, on the sidelines of the United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE), in Vienna, Austria, between 18 and 21 June 2018.
IAA, which is based in Paris, France, is an independent non-governmental organisation recognised by the United Nations in 1996. Through its distinguished international programmes and conferences, the IAA aspires to promote the development of space navigation for peaceful purposes and to honour individuals who have distinguished themselves in space science and technology. In addition, IAA aims to offer programmes for members to contribute to international space endeavours, to enhance international cooperation in the development of space science and technology.