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NASA's SpaceX Crew-6 mission astronaut Sultan Al-Neyadi, from the United Arab Emirates, waves as the crew departs for the launch pad before launch to the International Space Station from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., March 1, 2023. REUTERS/Steve Nesius Image Credit: REUTERS

Dubai: The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in Dubai has revealed how the UAE’s second astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi will bring the wonder of outer space to classrooms and communities in the country during his six-month long, historic ‘longest space expedition by an Arab.’

A new website, 13 live calls and 10 ham radio calls have been announced as part of the community outreach programme of Al Neyadi’s space expedition.

A website titled ELF in Space will be the platform through which he will interact with students.

ELF in Space is a new initiative by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in collaboration with the Emirates Literature Foundation (ELF). It will be an interactive programme offering students an up-close look at what it is like to be an astronaut and the skills and knowledge such a role requires.

On the Crystal Edition of the Emirates Literature Festival this year, ELF partnered with MBRSC to launch “ELF in Space”, a family education programme, Isobel Abulhoul, CEO and trustee, Emirates Literature Foundation, had announced on February 1.

Educational content from space will be aired to schools on a weekly basis under the ELF in Space initiative, Salem Humaid Al Marri, director general of MBRSC had then said. “Videos that will be taken from space and then be broadcast, either live or pre-recorded and put on a weekly basis on a website. And that will then go to all schools,” he told Gulf News.

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International Space Station (ISS). via AP, File Image Credit: AP

Groundbreaking in space

Over the course of 20 weeks, students will follow Al Neyadi on his groundbreaking space journey aboard the International Space Station (ISS). They will also hear from authors, space experts, and fellow astronauts Hazzaa Al Mansoori and Nora Al Matrooshi as they discuss the various challenges of working in space and the innovations that help overcome them.

MBRSC said episodes will be released weekly, with each episode focusing on a different topic to help students connect the dots between what they learn in class and its impact on their lives and the world around them. Extra activities and resources will also be available for download each week to keep students engaged and propel their own explorations of the subject.

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“ELF in Space seeks to bring the wonder of space travel into the regular

school curriculum. By delving into the science of space and exploring where our imaginations can take us, we aim to inspire the next generation of astronauts. After all, to envision a better future for our planet, we must first learn about our place in the wider universe,” it added.

Nasa schedules event

Once on-board the ISS, Al Neyadi will have a heavy schedule of experiments and dedicated time for live interactions with various entities, universities, and schools.

There will be 13 live calls and 10 ham radio interactions, and sessions for the community outreach programme, which will be allocated throughout the six months, MBRSC said.

In addition to the initiative with Emirates Literature Foundation, the mission will further comprise other education outreach and engagement efforts to inspire the next generation of scientists and explorers.

Nasa TV has scheduled a live event at 4pm on Monday. It will broadcast ‘ISS Expedition 68 in-flight event’ for the UAE flight engineer Al Neyadi, according to NASA’s website.

The ground station at the MBRSC in Al Khawaneej had organised live space-to-Earth calls by Hazzaa Al Mansoori, the first Emirati astronaut to go to the ISS, during his eight-day space exploration in 2019. Al Mansoori had interacted with the UAE leaders and inspired students through those calls.