Students across the UAE got a chance to meet NASA astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly, along with other leaders in the industry to get insight and inspiration on their future careers.
Have you ever wondered what life in space must be like? Curious students got their questions an-swered and were given first hand insight on life in space over Ramadan iftar during a Q&A with special guests from NASA.
The iftar which took place at the Rosewood hotel and accommodated over 150 people was orga-nized by Mubadala to bring students within the space and aerospace sector closer to professionals in the industry, both locally and internationally.
Special guests, American twin astronauts, Mark and Scott Kelly, opened the event with a speech in which they shared their story of living in space and discussed the science behind their ex-peditions. They particularly focused on the NASA Twin study that they were a part of that focused on how genetic changes that can occur while living in space.
During the speech Scott Kelly said, “People of-ten ask my brother and I about the best part of being in space, and the best for us is that its real-ly hard. Flying in space is really hard and chal-lenging, it’s a very hard job and that’s what makes it so great.
“Being able to accomplish something that chal-lenges you to your core and to be able to share that success and achievements with the world is a great feeling.”
The speech was then followed up with a ques-tion and answer segment where students were able to interact with the astronauts.
With a growing number of Emirati youth choos-ing career paths in STEM, including space, these events play an important role in connecting stu-dents with international leaders in the industry. Such events are aimed to inspire and help Emira-ti youth excel in their careers and work towards the country’s vision of investing in human capi-tal.
Mohammed Al Kaabi said “This event was a great opportunity to know more about the space industry on a global scale and to have insight on country’s aim in the space industry and how we as Emirati youth can contribute to the country’s ambitions.”
Homaid Al Shimmari, Deputy Group CEO Chief Human Capital & Corporate Officer of Mubadala Investment Company said: “ We are never about comparing ourselves to the region. We always aspire to be leaders in everything we do, and that's going to happen by investing in the num-ber one resource we have, which is our people, the young generation. It’s about how we are pre-paring the youth as individuals to represent the UAE.”
Omran Sharaf, Projects Director at the Moham-med bin Rashid Space Centre, also shed light on the importance of youth in building the UAE and shared advice on how they achieve their dreams.
“The youth is the core of the UAE. Recently the space sector has announced numerous initiatives and the reason behind these projects is the crea-tivity and eagerness of UAE youth. My advice to students right now is to think outside the box and always strive to do something unique.
“Don’t take the easy path. Take the path that inspires you and the road which you enjoy and see yourself doing for the rest of your life.”
To know more about Mubadala and the different STEM youth initiatives check out: https://www.weyana.ae/en/channel/science-technology.