DUBAI- Canadian astronaut and former commander of the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield, visited the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST), and met with a group of executives headed by H.E. Yousuf Al Shaibani, Director General of EIAST.
During the visit, the parties discussed several aspects of space science and Hadfield explored the successful achievements of EIAST in manufacturing satellites.
He was also briefed on the progress made by the institution through technical innovation, scientific research and EIAST strategy aiming at empowering Emiratis in outer space scientific techniques and applications by transferring knowledge and exploiting technical skills in order for Emirates to be on par with the world’s leading countries in the space industry.
The visit was marked by a presentation about satellites projects launched by EIAST and a general overview about space programs as well as scientific and ecologic researches conducted under its supervision.
It also included an overview of EIAST successful achievements; Dubai Sat-1, the first Remote sensing satellite owned by the UAE launched in 2009, and DubaiSat-2 launched by the institution last year.
The team briefed Hadfield on the most significant developments related to the KhalifaSat project, the first satellite to be manufactured by Emiratis in the country and is expected to be launched into outer space by 2017.
They also briefed him in details on the development of facilities dedicated to the manufacture of satellites at EIAST comprising laboratories designed according to the highest international standards as the manufacture of Khalifa Sat is set to be completed in these facilities in Dubai.
Commenting on the visit, H.E. Yousuf Al Shaibani, Director General of EIAST, was pleased to welcome Hadfield at the institution. “EIAST always seeks to encourage scientific and technical excellence in the UAE, modernizing the infrastructure and empowering highly-skilled Emiratis to manufacture high quality satellites and develop space programs”, he said.
“The Emirates has the potential and human capacity to excel in the satellites and space science sector. The successful achievements made in the last few years prove it. Accordingly, we are continuing to build on strong foundations to guarantee the sustainability of the sector in line with our ambitious objectives and in order to achieve the overall development in the country”, he added.
Chris Hadfield is one of the most famous astronauts in the world. He served as the commander of the International Space Station. He earned his Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering (with honours) from the Royal Military College in Kingston, Canada in 1982 and Master of Science in aviation systems at the University of Tennessee in 1992. In the same year, he was assigned as a specialist by the Canadian Space Agency to the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
EIAST was established by the Dubai Government in 2006 with the goal of promoting a culture of advanced scientific research and technology innovation in Dubai and the UAE, and enhancing technology innovation and scientific skills among UAE Nationals.
It is mainly involved in outer space research and development, satellite manufacturing and systems development, space imaging, and ground station services and support for other satellites.