Dream rockets soar high in Dubai

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Dream rockets soar high in Dubai

Dubai - The model rocket launch was the finale of the SARAUAE (Space and Rocketry Academy UAE) science camp.


Angel Tesorero

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Published: Sat 4 May 2019, 9:16 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 May 2019, 9:35 AM

Brothers Irtiza Abbas, 12, and Mujtaba Abbas, 10, dream of becoming the first Pakistanis to go to space and their first step to achieve that goal was to launch their own rocket.
On Saturday, they joined 150 other students across the UAE who trooped to Dubai Parks and Resorts to test the model rockets they created as a culmination of a science camp, where they learned the basics of designing, analysing, building and testing rockets.
"It was fun and a great achievement seeing our rockets going up about 400 metres above the ground," the siblings told Khaleej Times. "Now, we are inspired to study more about space science and, hopefully, become astronauts someday," added Irtiza and Mujtaba, who are Grade 6 and 5 students at Sheffield Private School Dubai.
The model rocket launch was the finale of the SARAUAE (Space and Rocketry Academy UAE) science camp, organised by Compass International and supported by the UAE Space Agency. 
At the camp, the students learned the aerodynamics of the rockets and conducted computer simulations before the launch. They also studied space missions and even tasted food that astronauts eat while in space. 
According to Compass International, all rockets that were launched were built from kits designed and approved by the National Association of Rocketry. Each rocket, pre-packed with low-power rocket engine for basic rocketry, soared at an average height of 300 metres and returned with a parachute. 
As part of their project, the students painted the rocket with designs to suit their interest and express their views.
Twelve-year-old Jordanian student Abedalrahman Mahmoud Khaled Shehabi said he painted his rocket with colours depicting the evolution of humanity - from Stone Age to the period when men landed on the moon.
"It was my first time to launch a rocket and it was very successful. I learned how rockets work and I even had a taste of what astronauts eat," added the Grade 7 student at Abu Dhabi Grammar School.
His father, Mahmoud Shehabi, who was also present at the model rocket launch said he would continue supporting Abedalrahman to achieve his dream. "I will keep on empowering, educating and inspiring my kid. If he learns more, the 'sky is the limit' to what he can achieve."
Many young girls also launched their rockets. Linnea Crouch, 12, a student at Sharjah English school, said it was both "energising and exciting". She painted her rocket in ombré to give it a dramatic effect.
Linnea added that she has no particular plan yet of pursuing space studies in college, but her interest in the subject has started to become a lifelong interest.
"When she looks up in the sky and see the stars, she would wonder and be more curious about life outside our planet," her father, Steve Crouch, said.
Mohammed Al Ahbabi, director-general of the UAE Space Agency, who was the chief guest at the event, said the science camp was one of the many programmes in the country that would ignite the interest of the youth in space science. "We are using this type of event to inspire, educate and attract young people to take up space activities and boost their interests in science and technology," said Al Ahbabi.
"We want more young people to follow in the footsteps of Hazza Al Mansouri, who will be the first Emirati to go to space in September this year."
How model rockets work
> Built from kits designed and approved by the National Association of Rocketry and supervised by Michael Flachbart, who has over 28 years of experience in model rocketry and is currently the strategic consultant at Compass International 
> Powered by a low-power rocket engine, placed at the bottom, that is used in basic rocketry 
> Designed as a real rocket with fins and dispatched from a launch pad 
> There was a launch button with electric wiring connected to the rocket for deployment 
> Equipped with a parachute recovery system


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