UAE to Launch First Master’s Program in Space Systems

WAM28.05.2015 UAE
UAE to Launch First Master’s Program in Space Systems

UAE to Launch First Master’s Program in Space Systems

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Yahsat, wholly owned by Mubadala, the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, and Orbital ATK signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Abu Dhabi on 25 May 2015, WAM news agency reported.

The MoU announced the joint creation of the first Master’s level advanced studies space program in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. The program is endorsed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Alongside HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the signing was also attended by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar; Homaid Al Shemmari, CEO of Aerospace and Engineering Services at Mubadala; Jassem Al Zaabi, Chairman of Yahsat; Dr. Eng. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director-General, UAE Space Agency, and Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute.

The MoU was signed by each of Dr. Ahmed Belhoul, CEO of Masdar, Masood Sharif Mahmood, CEO of Yahsat, and Tom Wilson, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development on behalf of David W. Thompson, President and CEO of Orbital ATK (photo).

The development of this program goes along with the establishment of the UAE Space Agency last year and the nation’s goal of entering the space industry through the launch of the ‘Hope Probe’ in 2021. The initiative also forms a part of the UAE’s efforts to encourage innovation across the nation, following the pronouncement of 2015 being the ‘Year of Innovation’.

Aimed at facilitating the growth of Emirati students into diversified, high-technology areas of study, the program, which aims to welcome its first group of graduate students at Masdar Institute in January 2016, will provide a rigorous academic grounding in a multitude of space-related scientific and engineering disciplines. The partnership will result in a Master’s degree program in Engineering with a concentration in Space Systems and Technology, after the program receives all the necessary approvals from the UAE Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

The program will include the student-led design, integration, construction, testing and operation of a mini-satellite, known in the industry as a CubeSat, which will be launched into space and monitored from the ground station.

The program offers a unique opportunity to UAE graduate students for contributing to high-tech research into space technology, and will provide opportunities to work alongside key Abu Dhabi stakeholders in developing CubeSats. Yahsat’s partnership with Orbital ATK has aided the development of this unique, comprehensive academic program by adding a robust technical dimension.

Orbital ATK’s President and CEO David W. Thompson said: “We are thrilled to be a partner in this exciting project. Not only will our subject matter experts be helping refine and structure the program’s curriculum, we will also provide for the use of our testing facility to help students verify the design of their CubeSat before launch.”

Source: WAM



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