Dubai, UAE: Students in 14 Dubai-based schools will get the opportunity to meet the well-known and record-breaking American astronaut, Dr Donald Thomas, during his four-day visit to Dubai and learn more about his experiences of living on a space station.
Dr Thomas, who is acknowledged as one of the foremost authorities on space exploration and holds the record for the longest stay on board an international space station with a total of 1,040 hours in four missions, will be familiarising the students with space travel and closely interacting with them during his visit to their schools.
The initiative is part of a joint collaboration between the UAE-based Compass International Tours and the US Space and Rocket Centre (USSRC), an affiliate of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), and allows the region’s students to interact closely with one of the highly acclaimed legends of deep space exploration.
Lissy Donald, Managing Director of Compass International, described the initiative as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students in the UAE to learn from one of the most inspiring space heroes.
“We are delighted to be appointed by the US Space and Rocket Centre as the Ambassador to represent them in the UAE region and encourage the younger generation to reach for the stars. Dr Thomas’ visit is the first in a series of many programmes that we plan with an aim towards bringing space awareness within easy reach of the region’s students,” said Donald.
Compass will also launch special packages for students aged seven to 18 that will allow them to spend two weeks at the US Space and Rocket Centre in Hunstville, Alabama, and experience various aspects of the space programme such as living in zero gravity, fitness and dietary preparations and other interactive learning methods.
Starting on April 27, Dr Thomas will visit 14 Dubai-based schools, including Westminster School, Crescent School, Wellington Academy, Cambridge International School, Winchester School, School of Research Science and GEMS Modern Academy, and will address students in each school through a detailed presentation and demonstrations, besides fielding questions from the students.
Dr Thomas will be accompanied by Dr Deborah E. Barnhart, CEO and Executive Director of USSRC, and Michael Flachbart, Vice-President of Centre Operations at the USSRC. The visit of the three leading officials will also help student from the region, especially those who cannot afford the field trips to the USSRC.
Since opening its doors in 1970, nearly 16 million people have toured the USSRC. Many of the more than 600,000 annual visitors are students on field trips. Compass International has facilitated the trips of thousands of UAE students to USSRC, Huntsville, in the past couple of years.
© Gulf News