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The 74th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), the world’s premier space event held in Baku, Azerbaijan this year, with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) as golden sponsor, concluded with a rousing closing ceremony today.
More than 5,200 space enthusiasts and participants from over 132 countries attended the 5-day event filled with workshops, meetings, collaborations, announcements, updates, and more.
IAC 2023 began on October 2, with a grand opening ceremony attended by delegates, heads of space agencies, members of parliament and exhibitors along with astronauts from the UAE and around the world. Under the theme "Global Challenges and Opportunities: Give Space a Chance," MBRSC's involvement at IAC 2023 highlighted the remarkable achievements of UAE's astronauts as Hazzaa AlMansoori met the attendees to discuss the UAE Astronaut Programme (UAEAP). This year, the spotlight shone on Sultan AlNeyadi's six-month mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as MBRSC interacted with space agencies from across the globe.
At this year’s event, MBRSC showcased its cutting-edge satellite projects, including KhalifaSat, the upcoming MBZ-SAT, and the Emirates Lunar Mission's Rashid Rover. Attendees received insights into the eagerly anticipated Emirates Lunar Mission 2, amongst other projects. Furthermore, MBRSC shared the achievements of the Emirates Mars Mission, known for its significant scientific contributions, and introduced the ambitious Mars 2117 Programme, aiming to establish the first human settlement on Mars by 2117.
MBRSC also announced a new opportunity with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) for the PHI-2 satellite under the “Access to Space for All” initiative, driving its commitment to fostering international cooperation in space science and technology. On the sidelines of the announcement, a bilateral meeting was also held between Salem Humaid AlMarri, Director General, MBRSC and Aarti Holla-Maini, Director, UNOOSA. This joint capacity-building effort demonstrates the UAE’s cutting-edge technology and capabilities in the field of space science to offer opportunities for global partnerships in the sector.
Over the five-day duration of IAC 2023, MBRSC actively participated in sessions with a delegation of more than 25 experts, led by Salem Humaid AlMarri, Director General of MBRSC.
MBRSC's Astronaut Hazzaa AlMansoori actively participated in the Astronauts Roundtable Technical session, sharing valuable insights from his training and experiences at the ISS. He also engaged with students from Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy (ADA), enriching their understanding of space with practical knowledge. Hazzaa played a pivotal role as a key panelist in the IAF Global Networking Forum Session titled "Popularising Space – Meet the Space People," discussing strategies for commercial human spaceflight initiatives.
Salem Humaid AlMarri, Director General, MBRSC, emphasised the significance of the event, stating, "Our vision to elevate the UAE's position as a leading force in the global space arena has guided us for the coming decade, and MBRSC's impactful presence at IAC 2023 represents a significant achievement in this ongoing journey. Over the course of these five days, we had the opportunity to showcase our accomplishments and foster transformative ideas for the future of humanity in space, while our efforts here have also seamlessly advanced space exploration and strengthened global collaborations, in line with our long-term goals.”
At the closing ceremony of IAC 2023, Azerbaijan, the host for 2023, passed on the flag to Milan, the next host of IAC in 2024, continuing the tradition of international cooperation and knowledge exchange.
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