Technicians power on the Orion crew module at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Image Credit: Courtesy: Lockheed Martin

Abu Dhabi: American aerospace and global security firm Lockheed Martin is teaming up with the UAE Space Agency to help aspiring UAE students enter the realm of international space exploration.

In an announcement on Sunday, Lockheed Martin said it had inked an agreement with UAE space officials to launch a “comprehensive dual-track space training programme for students and early career professionals in space fundamentals.”

No start date was given nor were figures outlining how many Emirati students would enrol in the new training programme.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company with an employee roster of more than 125,000 around the world.

The firm’s space-related business ventures are vast with Lockheed Martin reporting $9.1 billion (Dh33.4 billion) in space system sales in 2015 “which include space launch, commercial satellites, government satellites and strategic missiles lines of business”.

Space system sales represented roughly a quarter of the firm’s total $46.1 billion in 2015 sales.

Robert S. Harward, Chief Executive Lockheed Martin UAE, said on Sunday that his firm is committed to helping UAE bolster its human capital in the aerospace sector.

“We’re committed to working together with the UAE Space Agency to execute their national priorities and space ambitions. We are excited to help develop the UAE’s most important resource: the human potential that will power the country into space,” said Harward in a statement.

“This programme reflects our support for this sector of vital importance to the UAE. Lockheed Martin has been at the forefront of space exploration technology since the beginning, and we’re deploying all of our expertise from around the world to encourage and train the UAE space explorers of tomorrow.”

Lockheed Martin will offer a four-month space training programme at the Lockheed Martin Centre for Innovation and Security Solutions in Masdar City and in the US.

The firm’s efforts are welcome, said Dr. Khalifa Mohammad Al Romaithi, Chairman, UAE Space Agency.

“The UAE Space Agency recognises the importance of partnering with a global space leader to inspire, train and develop future Emirati trailblazers in this field of space. We’re proud to work with Lockheed Martin to develop capabilities and support knowledge transfer in this area of critical national significance. We look forward to seeing these early career professionals leading the UAE’s space sector into a bright future,” said Al Romaithi.


Lockheed Martin in numbers

Employees: approximately 125,000 employees in the United States and internationally

Operations: 590-plus facilities in 50 states throughout the US; internationally, business locations in over 70 nations and territories

— Source: www.lockheedmartin.com