As part of World Space Week
The United Arab Emirates University and the UAE Space Agency hosted former US astronaut Marsha Ivins on Wednesday 5th October as part of World Space Week. The event was held in the theatre of the crescent building in Al Ain. Dr. Ghaleb Al Hadrami, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies, representatives from the US Embassy and a number of faculty and students were in attendance.
Dr. Al Hadrami welcomed the former US astronaut and also mentioned the UAE Space Agency’s efforts to encourage a partnership with UAEU which is keen to host international figures such as Marsha Ivins to disseminate experience and encourage research into areas that can help to develop the space and science sectors in the UAE.
Marsha Ivins described her pleasure at being in the UAE, and especially at an important educational institution such as UAEU, which seeks to spread research among the local community. She noted that the science of space exploration is constantly evolving and that the experience of going to space is now available to many who want to go. She explained that living in space for a long period of time with strangers teaches patience.
She described her experience in space and the challenges she faced. Then she showed pictures and presented a short film about the importance of fitness in space travel and the practical training that prepares a person to be a successful astronaut. She added that, “98% of workouts focus on facing the difficulties and challenges of space travel.”
Ivins then toured the educational facilities and the University Library before she answered student questions about space and how you can prepare to be an astronaut in the future and stay in space for periods of up to a year. Dr. Al Hadrami presented Marsha Ivins with a plaque in recognition of her efforts in describing her experiences.