Five things to do during Expo Space Week, from meeting astronauts to the touch of a moon rock

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Space Week at Expo 2020 Dubai promises a stellar experience, from meeting astronauts to being able to look through powerful telescopes offering a glimpse into the cosmos.

From Sunday October 17 to Saturday October 23, astronauts from NASA, the United Arab Emirates, Italy and Japan will meet visitors and answer questions about life in space.

It is the perfect event for space enthusiasts, especially young people who are planning a career in the Stem subjects of science, technology, engineering and math.

Scientists, engineers and space leaders will also participate in several conferences during the week.

On October 17, the first gathering of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center will be held at the Dubai Exhibition Center South Hall 2A, from 10:15 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. To attend, visitors must register in line.

Entitled ‘The People’s Mission: Citizens in Space Exploration‘, the conference will feature Emirati, Swedish and Russian astronauts.

On October 19, Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Sciences and President of the United Arab Emirates Space Agency, will address the Space Business Forum.

Ms. Al Amiri will also speak on October 20 at the Space: Where the World Comes Together for Progress conference.

The forums will also be broadcast live in line.

The National highlights some of the unusual activities visitors can expect during the week.

Meet astronauts and ask questions

On October 17, the UAE’s first astronaut, Maj Hazza Al Mansouri, and his colleague, the Arab world’s first female astronaut, Nora Al Matrooshi, will meet with the public.

They will speak from 2 p.m. to 3.15 p.m. at the Dubai Exhibition Center – near the metro station on the Expo site – during a conference open to the public once registered in line.

Swedish astronaut Christer Fuglesang and Russian cosmonaut and rocket scientist Sergei Krikalev will also interact with the audience.

Emirati astronauts Dr Sultan Al Neyadi and Mohammed Al Mulla are also attending the conference.

Throughout the week, many other astronauts will participate in different forums, including Soichi Noguchi of Japan, who flew on the SpaceX Crew-1 mission.

Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano, who survived a water leak in his helmet during a spacewalk in 2013, will be at the Italian pavilion on October 19, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Peek into deep space using telescopes

Visitors can observe galaxies and nebulae in the deep sky using a powerful telescope available in the France pavilion.

The telescope was supplied by Unistellar and offers vivid colors and details.

It will be presented from October 20 to 23.

Learn more about the UAE’s Mars mission

The United Arab Emirates made history this year when their Hope probe landed on Mars. The spacecraft returned a wealth of data, 110 gigabytes of which has already been uploaded for free.

Omran Sharaf, the mission director, will address the audience on October 17, between 12:15 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the Dubai Exhibition Center.

The Mars satellite reached orbit on February 9 to study the planet’s atmosphere.

Touch a rock on the moon

At the American pavilion, a stone brought back from the Moon will be on display.

Visitors can not only look, but also touch the space object and take a picture of it.

Marine basalt is estimated to be around 3.75 billion years old and older than almost any rock on the Earth’s surface.

It was collected during one of the Apollo missions.

A Martian meteorite sample found during the 2012-2013 season in Antarctica is also on display.

Hear from UAE space chief Sarah Al Amiri

Minister Al Amiri will deliver the opening speech at the Space Business Forum, which will be held on October 19 at the Dubai Exhibition Center.

The forum will bring together leaders from the private and public space sector to discuss the economic potential of exploring space resources, such as moon mining.

For those who wish to learn more about careers in the space industry and the development of space technologies, this forum is recommended.

Update: October 16, 2021 3:00 a.m.

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