UAE space programme to feature at GLEX 2021 in Russia

Representatives of the Dubai-based Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) will have key speaking roles in plenary sessions at the Global Space Exploration Conference (GLEX) taking place at the Tavrichesky Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, from June 14-18, 2021.

Being held as the first in-person event for the global space community since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in late 2019, GLEX 2021 is organised by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) and hosted by Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.

GLEX 2021 will also commemorate the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s spaceflight (April 12, 1961) – marking the beginning of humankind’s spaceflight era.

Leaders and decision-makers from the global science and space exploration community, including engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, educators, space agency representatives and policymakers will congregate at GLEX 2021.

Industry perspective

The delegates will discuss recent space industry results, current challenges and innovative solutions, while also learning about how space exploration investment benefits can be increased through thoughtful planning and cooperation.

Operating under the umbrella of the Abu Dhabi-based UAE Space Agency, MBRSC is the UAE’s nodal space agency, with an active space programme that currently includes the ongoing Emirates Mars Mission and the planned Emirates Lunar Mission.

Hazzaa Al Mansoori, UAE astronaut and UAE Space Agency/MBRSC representative, will address the ‘International Collaboration for Sustainable Space Exploration’ plenary session at GLEX 2021 on June 14.

Al Mansoori will join fellow speakers Simonetta Di Pippo, Director, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, and Sergey Krikalev, Executive Director for Piloted Spaceflights, Roscosmos.

Yuri Gagarin commemoration

Representing the UAE Space Agency/MBRSC, Hazzaa Al Mansoori will speak again at the ’60th Anniversary Yuri Gagarin’s Spaceflight’ special plenary session on June 15, 2021, where the Emirati astronaut will join 14 other international astronauts and cosmonauts from Russia, France, United States, Germany, Romania, Canada and Austria, in offering their tributes to the late Soviet Air Force pilot and USSR cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin – the first human to reach space from Earth.

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Salem Al Marri, Deputy Director General, MBRSC, will update GLEX 2021 about the UAE space programme. Credit: MBRSC

On June 15, Salem Al Marri, Deputy Director General, MBRSC, will be a speaker at the ‘High-Level Space Leaders’ plenary session involving leaders of global space agencies and major institutions.

At this session, Al Marri, representing the UAE Space Agency/MBRSC, will join nine other fellow space leaders from Norway, Russia, France, South Africa, Italy, Canada, United States and Turkey, in presenting and discussing their respective agencies’ space programmes, with a focus on current and future space exploration plans.

On June 16, Al Marri will be a speaker at the plenary session titled ‘Going Forward to the Moon – New Roads to Lunar Exploration’.

Lunar exploration focus

During this session, Al Marri, representing the UAE Space Agency/MBRSC, will join six other space experts from the United States, Italy, Russia and Germany, in offering a global overview of different lunar exploration programmes, mostly commercial, while highlighting the different needs, approaches, challenges and needed solutions from commercial providers.

On June 16, Hazzaa Al Mansoori, representing the UAE Space Agency/MBRSC, will speak at the plenary session titled ‘IAF GNF – IAF-ASE Astronauts Panel’.

This session will feature a panel of astronauts and cosmonauts from France, Germany, United States, Austria, Russia and Canada, all sharing their personal perspectives on human space activities and space travel.

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The current status of the UAE’s Emirates Mars Mission involving the Hope probe will be highlighted at GLEX 2021. Credit: MBRSC

On June 17, Adnan Al Rais, Senior Director, Remote Sensing Department and Programme Manager, Mars 2117, MBRSC, will be the sole speaker at the ‘Highlight Lecture – UAE National Space Program: Current Status and Upcoming Missions’.

UAE overview

For this session Al Rais will introduce the UAE national space programme, highlighting its main pillars: Satellite Development Programme, Emirates Mars Mission (Hope probe), UAE Astronaut Programme, Mars 2117 Strategy, Space Ventures Programme, Emirates Lunar Mission (Rashid mini rover), UAE Analog Mission, and Mars Science City.

Representing the UAE Space Agency/MBRSC, Al Rais will present the current and future missions and projects of each UAE national space programme pillar.

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The global space community gathers in St. Petersburg, Russia, this month. Credit: IAF

On June 17, 2021, Al Marri, representing the UAE Space Agency/MBRSC, will speak at the plenary session titled ‘Exploring Together – Opportunities, Challenges, and the Role of ISECG in Engaging Emerging Space Agencies’ where he will be joined by fellow speakers from Canada, South Korea, Australia, Mexico, Romania, Poland and South Africa.

The International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) is an inter-agency coordination forum created in 2007 to advance individual and collective efforts in space exploration.

IAC 2021 Dubai

On June 17, Salem Al Marri and Adnan Al Rais, both representing the UAE Space Agency/MBRSC, will address the ‘IAF GNF – Next Stop – IAC 2021 In Dubai’ session.

Al Marri and Al Rais will be joined by fellow speakers Pascale Ehrenfreund, President, IAF, and Christian Feichtinger, Executive Director, IAF.

In this session, the four MBRSC and IAF representatives will present the plans and the preliminary programme for the upcoming International Astronautical Congress 2021, taking place as a hybrid event in Dubai, UAE, from October 25 to 29, 2021.

Dr Khaled Al Hashmi, Director of Space Missions, Science and Technology, UAE Space Agency, and Salem Al Marri, MBRSC, are international programme committee members of GLEX 2021.

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