Sparking imaginations and firing up the spirit of exploration among UAE's younger generation, the seventh and final ham radio session under “A Call from Space” series was successfully held by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre at the Emirates Amateur Radio Society in Sharjah.
The initiative was held in partnership with the Emirates Amateur Radio Society (EARS) and concluded with a 10-minute live interaction with astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
Drawing in over 30 attendees at the concluding session, the ham radio series has engaged more than 500 students from various age groups, grades and schools across the UAE along with space enthusiasts throughout its previous sessions. The outreach programme was held at locations such as the MBRSC, Mushairif School, Cycle 1-Ajyal in Ajman, GEMS Wellington International School in Dubai, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library, and the Emirates Amateur Radio Society in Sharjah.
Amateur radio, more commonly known as ham radio, facilitates communication among individuals, communities, and remote locations, providing an indispensable lifeline during emergencies. It employs an extensive range of frequencies, allowing enthusiasts to establish connections locally, globally, and even extraterrestrially. From its origins in the early 1900s, ham radio has evolved beyond being merely a leisure pursuit. It has proven to be critical during calamities, providing emergency communication channels when traditional networks are incapacitated.
Salem Humaid AlMarri, Director General, MBRSC, said, “We are proud to conclude the ham radio sessions under 'A Call from Space' series on such a high note. The sessions have truly been an extraordinary journey, leaving an indelible imprint on young minds and inspiring them to explore the boundless universe. I would like to thank our partners, the Emirates Amateur Radio Society and Emirates Literature Foundation, for their integral role in the successful of this series. As we draw closer to the end of Sultan's mission, we look forward to witnessing how these interactive experiences might propel our students into future space missions, enhancing the UAE's stature in space exploration.”
The series provided its attendees an overview of MBRSC's ongoing projects and a detailed look into space stations and its history. A hands-on training on the ham radio use also formed part of the enriching programme.
The most unforgettable part of the event were the captivating live interactions with AlNeyadi in which the students had the opportunity to ask the Emirati astronaut their burning questions about space, a first-hand exchange that deepened their understanding of the space exploration journey. The conclusion of the series marks a monumental moment, a tribute to the success of the UAE's space missions, and a spark for the country's future scientists and explorers.
The UAE Astronaut Programme is one of the projects managed by MBRSC under the UAE’s National Space Programme and funded by the ICT Fund of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), which aims to support research and development in the ICT sector in the UAE and promote the country’s integration on the global stage.