US aerospace and defence company Lockheed Martin, has partnered with Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Company and the UAE Space Agency to launch a space-based programme to develop leaders in the industry.
The announcement comes as the country prepares to launch a probe to Mars by 2021 and follows a memorandum of understanding signed between Lockheed and the space agency in June.
The Space Fundamentals Training Programme, designed for early career professionals across the UAE aerospace industry dubbed ‘generation space’, will run for the next four months and include training in the UAE and US.
It will begin with training in space foundations in the emirates, followed by technical topics covering more than 200 hours of course work. Participants will also take part in mentor-guided research projects, according to state news agency WAM.
“This latest initiative represents and realises the long-term strategic vision of the UAE Space Agency, which seeks to bring together Emirati stakeholders as well as maximises international co-operation in the space sector,” said UAE Space agency chairman Dr Khalifa Al Romaithi.
“Furthermore, we are committed to instilling a sound scientific understanding among up-and-coming Emiratis as part of our efforts to develop a knowledge-based economy.”
The first participants will complete a US space industry immersion programme in September, including guidance on the OSIRIS-Rex launch to collect samples from a nearby asteroid, job shadowing and touring of Lockheed’s virtual reality facility and satellite production areas.
All other classroom training, guest lectures and other major events will be at the company’s Centre for Innovation and Security Solutions in Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City.
The UAE Space Agency met with NASA and other key stakeholders in the space industry including Lockheed last year.
The country is currently in the process of drafting a comprehensive space law, director general of the agency Mohammed Al Ahbabi said in March.
Read: UAE drafting space law