UAE, NASA sign deal on student training: report

16:16, December 06, 2009      

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A foundation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has signed an agreement with the U.S. space agency NASA about student training, a state-run newspaper reported Sunday.

The deal between NASA and the Arab Youth Venture Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes science, technology, literacy and arts, will see up to 12 UAE university students working along with NASA teams running space missions, The National said.

"High-potential Emirati college students are going to be working in a real NASA team of engineers, scientists, researchers, along with their U.S. peers," Lisa La Bonte, chief executive of the foundation, was quoted as saying.

"Our initial program is geared towards UAE nationals, predominantly engineering or aviation students, whose experience represents a fit for qualifying NASA missions," she said.

Applications for placement, of between two and 10 months at the Ames Research Center in California, are expected to open on Jan. 1,2010. The program is set to begin next May, according to The National.

Research will involve the space shuttle and the International Space Station, solar system exploration, deep space programs, research aircraft and remote sensing, the paper said.

A joint statement from NASA and the UAE foundation said the program would "provide both Arab and U.S. students valuable cultural exposure and experience working with their international counterparts in a team environment."

The foundation is seeking sponsors to cover the cost of the program, expected to be at least 30,000 U.S. dollars per student per semester, including cost-of-living expenses and accommodation, the report said.

Source: Xinhua
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