37,000 youth sign up for first round of UAE's space training programme
The programme is overseen by the UAE Space Agency.
Registration has been closed for the first round of the UAE's Arab Space Pioneers, as it drew a whopping 37,000 applications from the Arab youth within two weeks of its launch.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the first-of-its-kind specialised training programme earlier in July, as the country counts down to its Hope probe liftoff to Mars, the Arab world's first interplanetary mission.
The programme, overseen by the UAE Space Agency, aims to nurture the next generation of Arab astronomers and space scientists and empower the region's talents to practise their passion for space-related studies.
As the first round of registration closed amid the overwhelming response, a specialised committee of scientists, researchers and thinkers is set to evaluate applicants, based on their qualifications and achievements in science and research, as well as innovative skills that can be developed.
Egypt took the lead in the number of applications with a total of 19,391, followed by Iraq (6,447), Algeria (4,836), Morocco (3,107), the UAE (692), Jordan (681), Palestine (422), Syria (406), Tunisia (370) and Saudi Arabia (361).
The Arab Space Pioneers also recorded high engagement on social media platforms and academic forums across the Arab world. Its website www.arabstospace.com garnered record views and visits.
Dr Ahmed Belhoul, chairman of the UAE Space Agency, said the overwhelming response to the Arab Space Pioneers programme confirms the importance of such innovative initiatives that respond to the Arab youth's aspirations.
The programme, he said, reflects the vision of Sheikh Mohammed to inspire, motivate and empower the youth to effectively lead the region's scientific advancement.
"Building youth capacities and talents reflects an investment in the growing vital sectors like space science and advanced technologies to increase contribution to knowledge-based economies. This long-term investment will strengthen the overall development of the Arab world."
He added: "The scientific momentum that the Arab Space Pioneers programme has created in its first round helps transform the underlying creative talents in the Arab world into on-ground scientific achievements."
Arab Space Pioneers will be a three-year programme during which participants will be granted full residency in the UAE; world-class specialised training in space science and technology; and an opportunity to build advanced satellites in the country. There will also be scholarships and other financial incentives.
Taking part in the programme also increases one's the opportunity to join teams of Emirati researchers, engineers and experts in a number of space projects.
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