KU Affairs

Khalifa University Awards First-Ever Honorary Doctorate to First Emirati Astronaut Hazza Al-Mansouri

October 6, 2019

Photo Credit: NASA

Honorary Doctorate Awarded to Astronaut Hazza Al-Mansoori in Recognition of His Historic Achievement and Highlights its Role in Supporting the UAE’s Space Sector

Khalifa University of Science and Technology today awarded its first-ever honorary doctorate since its inception, to Hazza Al Mansoori, the first Arab astronaut to visit the International Space Station (ISS) and the first Emirati astronaut.

His Highness Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court and Chairman of Khalifa University Board of Trustees, said that the honorary doctorate to Hazza Al Mansouri is an expression of the pride of the UAE, represented by the country’s leadership, institutions, people and sectors, and more especially the higher education sector.

His Highness added that Hazza Al Mansoori’s journey to space was inspirational to the university students as it acts as a motivation to the UAE students to fulfill their ambitions, no matter what the difficulties are. As a leading university in the field of aerospace research, honoring UAE astronaut Hazza Al Mansoori by awarding the first honorary doctorate is part of the university’s mission to encourage the UAE youth to take up science for higher studies and professional careers, he pointed out.

Khalifa University is the first university in the UAE to graduate the first batch of aerospace engineers. It currently offers bachelors, Master’s and doctoral programs in aerospace engineering. Moreover, the university houses the Aerospace Research and Innovation Center (ARIC) and has established the first advanced space laboratory in the region, one of the most advanced in the world. The university’s Master’s students have built MySat-1, the first CubeSat to be developed in a university lab in the UAE. The CubeSat launched into space from the ISS, the first of four to be launched into space by end of 2020. Khalifa University also plans to establish an advanced space lab to help analyze the data that will be sent from Mars.

Khalifa University has strategic partnerships with the Emirates Space Agency, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center and Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (YahSat) to support the UAE’s promising space sector, contributing to the UAE’s ambitious plans for astronautics and the launch of the Mars Probe next year.

UAE astronaut Hazza Al Mansoori returned a few days ago from a historic week-long space visit to the ISS, on board the Soyuz MS15 spacecraft, where he conducted a series of scientific tests to experiment with fluid dynamics in space in order to verify the behavior of liquids under microgravity. The space visit was a realization of a dream by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding Father of the UAE, which was turned into a vision by the UAE’s leadership. It also opened the doors for the UAE to join the club of other countries that have space programs.

Momen Khaiti
Senior Editor
6 October 2019

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