*** ----> Bahrain hosts first-ever International Space Forum; IAF President pledges support for Kingdom’s space ambitions | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Bahrain hosts first-ever International Space Forum; IAF President pledges support for Kingdom’s space ambitions

TDT | Manama     

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Report by Ashen Tharaka

History was made yesterday as Bahrain hosted the 6th International Space Forum at Ministerial Level, titled “Space as a Game-Changer for Diplomacy and Economic Development in the Region.”

The event, held at the Gulf Convention Centre, marked a significant milestone for the region’s growing space industry.

Inspiration from an Emirati Astronaut

Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, a true pioneer, shared a breathtaking perspective. Gazing down at Earth from the International Space Station, he described it as “a breathtaking marble, both magnificent and fragile.”

This stark realisation underscored the importance of space exploration and the development of technologies to sustain life on our precious planet.

In an interview with The Daily Tribune, he urged young minds across the region to reach for the stars and pursue careers in this burgeoning field.

International collaboration

Clay Mowry, President of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), beamed with optimism about the forum’s potential to translate space dreams into concrete realities.

“Space,” he declared, “is the new frontier, and it’s becoming increasingly accessible.”

He spoke of the tireless efforts of companies and science agencies worldwide pushing the boundaries of space research and implementation.

His enthusiasm was contagious, even hinting at the IAF’s interest in bringing the prestigious International Astronautical Congress to Bahrain in the future.

Focus on education and regional cooperation

The forum marked the first time the GCC Secretary General participated in a space-related event. Dr. Mohamed Ebrahim AlAseeri, CEO of Bahrain’s National Space Science Agency (NSSA), emphasised the importance of education, particularly for the region’s youth.

He envisioned a future where Bahrain establishes a center dedicated to analysing space data.

UAE and Saudi Arabia’s ambitious space plans

The forum also provided a platform for showcasing ambitious regional space programs.

Salem Al Marri, Director General of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, outlined the UAE’s focus on international collaboration, particularly with the US, in their pursuit of space exploration as a gateway to the Universe. Additionally, news emerged about Saudi Arabia’s plans to launch the world’s first space station orbiting the Moon.

The forum was inaugurated by H.E. Mohamed bin Thamer AlKaabi, Bahrain’s Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications and Chairman of the National Space Science Agency (NSSA).

H.E. Jasem Mohamed Al Budaiwi, Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), also addressed the gathering.

This first-ever GCC-focused space forum brought together regional ministers, astronauts, and industry experts for a stimulating exchange of ideas.

The 6th International Space Forum at Ministerial Level marked a pivotal moment for the Gulf region’s space industry. The event fostered collaboration, highlighted the importance of space exploration, and ignited the imaginations of young minds who may one day reach for the stars.


Dr. Sultan Al Neyadi in an interview with The Daily Tribune