Kazakhstan Cosmonaut Aidyn Aimbetov Visits SCASS
Kazakhstan Cosmonaut Aidyn Aimbetov visited the University of Sharjah and met with His Excellency Prof. Hamid Al Naimiy, the Chancellor of the University of Sharjah and Director General of the Sharjah Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences. The main aim of the visit was to sign an MoU between the joint-stock National Company "Kazakhstan Gharysh Sapary" and the University of Sharjah to cooperate on the Earth remote sensing sphere. The purpose of the agreement is collaboration in the field of the exchange of space images and in the implementation of joint projects. Attending the MoU signing were Prof. Maamar Bettayeb, Vice-Chancellor for Graduate Studies and Research; Prof. Madjid Merabti, Dean of the College of Sciences; Prof. Abdul Kadir Hamid, Acting Dean of the College of Engineering; Dr. Tarek Merabtene, Director of the Office of International Relations; Dr. Ilias Fernini, SCASS Deputy General Director for the Research Laboratories and Observatory; Mr. Marwan Shwaiki, SCASS Deputy General Director for the Planetarium and Exhibitions; and Mr. Khaled Al-Raboy, the University's Director of Public Relations and SCASS Acting Deputy General Director for Administration and Public Relations.
Cosmonaut Aimbetov was selected in June 2015 to fly on the Soyuz TMA-18M to the International Space Station (ISS). The mission was projected to launch to the ISS on September 1st, 2015. Aimbetov became the third Kazakh-born cosmonaut to fly since Kazakhstan's independence in 1991 and the first to fly under the Kazakh flag, and as part of KazCosmos. On September 2nd, 2015, Aimbetov launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. On September 11th, 2015, Aimbetov returned from his 10-day mission to the International Space Station and touched down on the Kazakhstan Steppe aboard Soyuz TMA-16M.
During his visit to SCASS, Mr. Marwan Shwaiki and Dr. Ilias Fernini met Mr. Aimbetov, and gave him a tour of the space exhibitions and the planetarium. This was followed by a roundtable discussion will all of the SCASS research assistants and students. Dr. Fernini emphasized the different areas of cooperation with the National Space Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan – also known as KazCosmos – that are in line with the different SCASS research laboratories especially the "CubeSat laboratory," the future "Ballon and Rockets Propulsion Laboratory," and the "GIS and RS Center."