In cooperation with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), the United Arab Emirates Space Agency hosted the preliminary stage of the international scientific competition, the Kibo Robot Programming Challenge. The event was organized by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) of the Japanese Space Centre in cooperation with the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), from March to June 2020.

Thirty teams from various higher educational and research centres from around the United Arab Emirates participated in the competition.

A female employee of the National Space Science Agency, engineer Aysha Al Haram, and her Khalifa University team won third place in the competition, which required the innovation of an electronic program to operate NASA’s free-flying space robot, the Astrobee, in order to stop the air leakage in the Japanese experimental unit of the Japanese Space Agency, ‘Kibo’, on the International Space Station.

Aysha said: ‘We have won third place with the blessing of God, and with the ongoing support of the administration of the National Space Science Agency, which spared no effort in providing us with the confidence to achieve an advanced position and the ability to excel. This encouragement had a great impact on our commitment to achieving success’.