On 24th and 25th January, many of the world’s most amazing and inspiring space personalities (scientists, astronomers, budding astronauts) will gather for an event named Project Space, where they will share their stories, their discoveries and their ideas with a gathered audience at the Dubai World Trade Centre. It’s a FREE event, and for anyone who has looked up to the stars in wonder, it’s an event you really wouldn’t want to miss.
There is nobody that isn’t inspired or generally astonished by space, and this goes for not only the sheer scale of the universe, but the amazing accomplishments of scientists and engineers who manage to send spacecraft to other planets, moons and asteroids, making astounding discoveries in the process.
Space is a sector that the UAE’s leaders are very keen on exploring. So much so that in fact the nation will send a probe to Mars in 2020 on a voyage of discovery – the first time anything like this has ever been attempted by an Arab nation.
It is being built at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), a scientific entity in which some of the most talented Emiratis work to advance their nation in one of the most technically demanding sectors, but also one of the most amazing. And that’s what they are doing. MBRSC has a target of establishing the UAE as one of the world’s top space faring nations, bringing more Emiratis into the industry, and also inspiring the next generations to think creatively about science, maths, technology and engineering – something that’s never really happened before in the UAE.
Think, Inspire, Discover
So as part of this mission to inspire, they are hosting an event named Project Space at Dubai World Trade Centre on 24th and 25th January 2017, where some amazing people from across the world will gather to give talks on their accomplishments (think TED Talks but with better staging). The event is FREE for all, and already many schools, colleges and universities are sending their brightest pupils to discover some of the amazing accomplishments we’ve seen in space exploration thus far.
Coming to speak is Dr Carolyn Porco, the Head of the Cassini Imaging Team. Cassini is the NASA probe that is still orbiting around Saturn, and it’s made some astonishing discoveries, most notably the discovery of the potential for life in a saltwater sea under the icy exterior of Enceladus, a moon of Saturn. The ocean Cassini has discovered is around 10 times deeper than the deepest parts of our ocean. We all know that water is the key to life, what could be lurking in that ocean? She will shed some light on that for us.
Also appearing is Dr Mike Brown, the Pluto Killer. It was Dr Brown who discovered a new dwarf planet called Eris which was found to be bigger than Pluto. This effectively meant everyone’s favourite planet named after a Disney dog was removed from our classification. He wasn’t too popular with space fans who had grown up with nine planets in the Solar System, but now his work is dedicated to finding a new planet, which he says is irrefutably out there waiting to be discovered.
Astronaut Abby, a young aspiring NASA astronaut is also coming to present at Project Space, and she has the goal of being the very first human evert to set foot on Mars. She is massively popular on social media, with a following approaching a million, as children all over the world follow her journey to see if she does indeed succeed with becoming NASA’s first Mars astronaut.
Also coming are Noureddine Melikechi, a Professor from Algeria who works on the Mars rovers for NASA, and Dr Pete Swan, who is the President of the Space Elevator Consortium, which is an advocate for building an elevator to take people and cargo outside of the Earth’s atmosphere where they could board a spacecraft waiting at the top, saving on the costs, dangers and environmental impact of a rocket launch.
Add to all of these personalities the best people from the space centre, as well as a number of workshops, galleries and events throughout the two days, and you have a memorable event and a wonderful addition to Dubai’s already busy events calendar.