Under the patronage of His Excellency Prof. Hamid M.K. Al Naimiy, Chancellor of the University of Sharjah, General Director of the Sharjah Academy for Astronomy, Space Sciences, Technology (SAASST), and the President of the Arab Union Astronomy and Space Sciences, SAASST, organized a celebration of the World Space Week 2020. The World Space Week comes this year under the theme "Satellites Improve Life," and is celebrated October 4th – 10th every year and is the largest international celebration of sciences and technology and their contribution to the betterment of human life.
World Space Week includes more than 8,000 educational and awareness events organized by space agencies, aerospace companies, and educational institutions in more than 96 countries around the world, and every year it comes under a different theme such as "Women in Space" for 2021, and "The Moon: Gateway to the Stars" in 2019. World Space Week aims to raise awareness and education in space to educate the public about the benefits of studies and research in space sciences. WSW is also to encourage greater use of space for sustainable economic development, to support various space programs around the world, and to enhance the interest of the young generation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, in addition to promoting international cooperation in awareness and education in the fields of space and astronomy.
In the context of achieving these goals and enriching local awareness and knowledge of developments, importance, and impact of astronomy, space sciences, and technology, SAASST celebrated the World Space Week through several lectures highlighting the scientific and research projects ongoing in the Academy's research laboratories and presenting their importance and role in supporting the space sector in the country and internationally.
SAASST was established as a national development project and a scientific research headquarters that seeks to serve and educate society in all fields of space science. It is becoming a global leader in space sciences research, and it is solidifying the UAE's position as a scientific center at the regional and global levels. Thanks to the continuous support of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of the Emirate of Sharjah, and President of the University of Sharjah, SAASST is progressing steadily towards achieving these goals and strengthening the space sector while supporting educational institutions in the Emirate of Sharjah and the United Arab Emirates through participating in several local and international events in the astronomy and space sciences fields.
All of SAASST's units participated in the WSW 2020: planetarium, academic, and research laboratories. The Sharjah-Sat-1 CubeSat, being developed by Emirati engineers, was thoroughly discussed during three special lectures by the "CubeSat Laboratory" group. The UAEMMN project, in cooperation with the UAE Space Agency, which includes three towers, each equipped with 17 cameras to detect meteors or space debris, was discussed by the "Meteorite Center" group. The "Decametric Radio Telescope" and the "40-meter Radio Interferometer" were presented by the "Radio Astronomy Laboratory" group.
The Sharjah Optical Observatory provided a virtual observation of the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, and the Moon, through which the attendees learned about the nature of these planets and the techniques and processes for monitoring deep space observation. The Planetarium and Space Exhibitions Department participated in two virtual planetarium shows that took the attendees on a virtual tour through the Universe using the planetarium simulation technology. It took the attendees from the UAE to the depths of outer space, passing by the Moon, Sun, and planets, then looking back at the Milky Way Galaxy after leaving it and examining the local group of galaxies and the observed boundaries of our Universe.