JAXA, UAE to Cooperate on Educational Project on Space Station

UAE astronaut Hazzaa Al Mansoori holds Int-Ball training model. (Credit: MBRSC)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) of the United Arab Emirates will cooperatively perform an educational project that uses JAXA’s “Int-Ball”, a camera robot for the International Space Station, when the UAE astronaut gets on board the International Space Station for the first time.

In this project, of which the purpose is human resources development in the space technology field, the UAE astronaut staying on the International Space Station (ISS) from September 25, 2019 (scheduled) will carry out an educational mission to explain the attitude control of a spacecraft by using the Int-Ball on the Kibo on September 30 (scheduled). The mission will be streamed real-time on the Internet. Also on the same day, the UAE astronaut will have a question and answer session with the UAE students in the control room of JAXA’s Tsukuba Space Center and at MBRSC in Dubai.

In addition, in order for the students to further understand the experiment on the Kibo prior to the educational mission in space, JAXA and MBRSC will cooperatively hold seminars on space robot technologies and the attitude control technology of a spacecraft, geared towards UAE students on September 9 and 10 in the University of Dubai and Khalifa University respectively.

With this project being the jump-start, we hope that this will lead to future experiments on the Kibo and further cooperation in future of international space exploration.

UAE astronauts Sultan Al Neyadi (backup) and Hazzaa Al Mansoori (prime crew) with the Int-Ball training models. (Credit: MBRSC)

<Comments from Salem AlMarri, Assistant Director General for Science and Technology Sector and Head of UAE Astronaut Programme>

Salem AlMarri, Assistant Director General for Science and Technology Sector and Head of UAE Astronaut Programme, said, “Our partnership with JAXA will contribute to the enhancement of the UAE’s expertise in the field of space technologies. We are particularly delighted that this partnership will enable us to promote space sciences among students in the UAE and inspire them to take interest in the space industry.”

“The space sector is at a very exciting stage in the UAE and worldwide with new technologies emerging to aid human spaceflights and support space exploration. We are happy to see our relationship with JAXA, one of the advanced space agencies in the field of space technologies, is going from strength to strength following the successful launch of KhalifaSat in October 2018,” added AlMarri.

<Comment from Koichi Wakata, Vice President of JAXA>

We’re excited to conduct an educational project using JAXA’s “Int-Ball”, a camera robot onboard the International Space Station (ISS), with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), when the UAE astronaut gets on board the ISS for the first time.

When we launched the UAE’s satellite KhalifaSat on the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 40 last year, many people from the UAE including H.E. Ahmad bin Abdulla Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi and H.E. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi of the UAE Space Agency (UAESA) as well as H.E. Al Mansoori and H.E. Al Shaibani of the MBRSC came to Tanegashima to witness the launch. I was there to with them, and I felt their strong passion on space exploration.

This will be the first cooperative project to utilize the Japanese “Kibo” module on the ISS since the Cooperation Arrangement between UAESA and JAXA was established in 2016.

We hope that this educational experiment with the camera robot will lead to future scientific experiments on “Kibo” during UAE astronauts’ long-duration flight on the ISS and our future cooperation in international space exploration.

Relationships between Japan and UAE Related to Space Activities

  • The UAE’s Earth observation satellite DuaiSat-2 launched in 2013 has JAXA’s microwave discharge neutralizer onboard.
  • The UAE’s Earth observation satellite KhalifaSat launched in 2018 was launched by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 40.
  • A UAE’s Mars exploration probe is scheduled to be launched by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle in 2020.

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