National Points of Contact
Welcome to Egypt’s country page for the Space Generation Advisory Council!
Egypt had an early interest in space; Pharaohs used to watch stars and study their locations and relative movement. For centuries, Egypt’s great pyramid’s mysteries baffled scientists with its relation to space, ETI, and stars. Modern Egypt recognized space as a legal concern on May 23, 1935. In 1960, Egypt started its official space program with ambitious goals to achieve. On 4 October 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first artificial Earth satellite, which led to a paradigm shift in the field of space exploration. Earthlings started to literally reach for stars, instead of just gazing at them. Egypt is currently an emerging space-faring nation with many ambitions to explore space, as well as protect and advance lives on Earth through peaceful uses of outer space.
Space Activities Overview in Egypt
Nowadays, Egypt has a great infrastructure in the field of space and its applications, owning satellites and organizing potential space activities for future young generations. Recently, Young professionals and students have started their ambitious programs in space arena; students showed their enthusiasm in satellites and space, young professionals have expressed their need to transfer the knowledge and experience to students through symposiums and conferences. Young generations will have a very good opportunity to promote space technology and applications in Egypt, and to use them to leverage the Egyptian community’s scientific level. SGAC spreads space enthusiasm all over the world. With SGAC, students and young professionals are able to participate in hands-on space activities/projects, and to share their views and dreams with the space sector.
The Egyptian government, under the leadership of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has agreed upon draft legislation that will eventually create a national space agency. The announcement was made on 3 August 2016, and aims to harness space technologies for the purposes of economic development and for national security. More generally, an Egyptian national space agency will be given the responsibility of devising and implementing a national space policy and programme for the short, medium, and long-term.
Young personnel initiated many activities in Egypt related to space and astronomy; in collaboration with National Authority of Remote Sensing and Space Science (NARSS), the Planetarium Science Center – Bibliotheca Alexandria, the “Space Technology” program was initiated to teach students the basis of space science, in an aim to introduce the marvels of space sciences and their applications in our daily life. This will be achieved through multiple activities; such as, lectures, presentations, workshops, field trips, and research projects.
Within the scope of the International Planetarium Society Conference held at the BA in June 2010, an agreement was signed between the BA, represented by its director, Dr. Ismail Serageldin, and the National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences, represented by Dr. Ayman Desouky and Dr. Farouk El-Baz, Director of the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston-University. The agreement established a framework for cooperation in the applications of space technology and remote sensing, scientific and academic training, scientific visits, cooperation in research and development, and joint scientific research. The agreement will be useful to Egypt, particularly to the Ministry of Scientific Research and Higher Education and the Ministry of Education. The program aims to help youth pursue their studies and careers in this field to build a generation of space technology scientists and researchers. It supports the development, construction, launch, and operation of small satellites as well as the distribution and analysis of the scientific data. The Space Technology Program organized the Systems Engineering Training provided by NARSS instructors during 23 July-1 August 2011 directed to 52 students from the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Science. The training covered a number of topics such as power systems, thermal analysis, testing, communication, and satellite payload and satellite management.
On the other hand, recently space projects take place in many universities especially Aerospace department in faculty of engineering at Cairo University. Undergraduate students are now working on various kinds of projects related to space as Cansat, Rover, Cubesat, quadrotors, rockets, and even the building of a ground station enables us to receive data from an orbiting satellite. Space System Technology Lab (SSTL) is a new activity in the University that is interested in the field of space and its applications. SSTL give training course for new students and support graduate projects related to space. SSTL participate in many competitions and symposium in Japan to represent their progress.
Moreover, the Astronomical Society of Mostafa Mahmoud Mosque (ASMM) and The Astronomical Observatory at the School of Sciences and Engineering, American University in Cairo, both offer telescope observations of celestial phenomena and public lectures and exhibitions on astronomy and space topics and events. All observatory’s activities are open to the public. The observatory tailors its activities to enhance the scientific literacy of the society and to excite interest about science and technology among youth and children. The observatory also offers news releases and expert analysis on contemporary issues and events pertaining to astronomy and space science including the sighting of the crescent moon.
Country-Specific Events in 2017
April 29-30, 2017 – NASA Space Apps Cairo – Space Apps is an international hackathon that occurs over 48 hours in cities around the world. Coders, scientists, designers, storytellers, makers, builders, technologists, and everyone enthusiastic about space come together to address challenges we face on Earth and in space!
Venue: B148, Smart Village – 28 Km by Cairo / Alexandria Desert, 6 October.
April 29-30, 2017 – NASA Space Apps Ismailia – Space Apps is an international hackathon that occurs over 48 hours in cities around the world. Coders, scientists, designers, storytellers, makers, builders, technologists, and everyone enthusiastic about space come together to address challenges we face on Earth and in space!
Venue: Suez Canal University, The Ring Road.
(TBA) SG [Egypt] 2018 – will be the first official SGAC event in Egypt and will host space sector speakers and leaders from Egypt and around the world. The event will have an international outlook, and will welcome collaboration from space agencies around the world; it will be crucial to Egypt’s security, prosperity, and economic growth. Keynote presentations and discussions will focus on space spinoffs and how space technologies benefit humanity on Earth, space applications that save and improve lives, human spaceflight and future plans to explore Asteroids, the Moon, and Mars, and finally plans for Egypt’s Space Programme and Astronaut Corps.
International (Apply Online) – SGAC Move an Asteroid Competition – Deadline for paper submission is June 30, 2017 – The competition challenges students and young professionals worldwide to develop original ideas relating to Near Earth Objects.
October 4-10 World Space Week – Since its United Nations declaration in 1999, World Space Week has grown into the largest public space event on Earth. More than 2,700 events in 86 countries celebrated the benefits of space and excitment about space exploration in 2016. With our new Theme “Exploring New Worlds in Space” it aims to inspire even more events around the world in October 2017. Location (TBA)
Interesting Web Links for the Space Generation in Egypt
- Alexandria Bibliotheca Space Technology Programme – Since Space Technology is among the main interests of the 21st century, the PSC aims through the Space Technology Program to introduce students to the marvels of space sciences. The program aims to help youth pursue their studies and careers in this field to build a generation of space technology scientists and researchers. It supports the development, construction, launch and operation of small satellites as well as the distribution and analysis of the scientific data.
- Science and Society Star Gazing at AUC Observatory – In 1609, Galileo was perhaps the only person who had the privilege of gazing at the sky with the new technology of his time. Four hundred years later, new and better tools are becoming accessible to all. Join us at the American University in Cairo Observatory for an enjoyable and inspiring experience.
- Space Systems Technology Laboratory (SSTL) – Space Systems Technology Laboratory (SSTLab) is a Student-Based Research Facility at Aerospace Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University.
- SpaceWatch Middle East – SpaceWatch Middle East is a digital magazine and portal for those interested in space and the far-reaching impact that space developments have. While showcasing the technology that enables the industry to edge closer to the next frontier, SpaceWatch Middle East also provides analysis, forecasts and insight into the geopolitical implications of space developments.
- Space News – Dedicated to covering the business and politics of the global space industry, SpaceNews is a privately owned multimedia company headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, with staff and correspondents around the world.
- Space.com – Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity’s ongoing expansion across the final frontier.
- The Space Review – The Space Review is an online publication devoted to in-depth articles, commentary, and reviews regarding all aspects of space exploration: science, technology, policy, business, and more.
- American University in Cairo – Founded in 1919, AUC is a leading English-language, American-accredited institution of higher education and center of intellectual, social and cultural life of the Arab world.
- Cairo University Aerospace Engineering Department – Cairo University Aerospace Department is a deeply rooted institute with almost 70 years of experience in the educational field.
- Egyptian National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics – NRIAG is a national astronomical, geophysical and environmental sciences research establishment with more than 110 years of successful history, making it the oldest research institute in North Africa. Being dedicated to exploring the Earth and universe, we are focused at providing the needs of our researchers of, up to date, precise technologies to meet the modern scientific challenges of our fields of specialization. The research facilities of NRIAG spread all over Egypt, powered by more than 300 researchers covering every task of astronomy and geophysics.
- Zewail City of Science and Technology – Zewail City of Science and Technology is a nonprofit, independent institution of learning, research and innovation.
- National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Science (NARSS) – NARSS is the pioneering Egyptian institution in the field of satellite remote sensing. NARSS is an outgrowth of a Remote Sensing Center, established in 1971 as an American-Egyptian joint project that was affiliated to the Egyptian Academy of Scientific Research and Technology. In 1994 the Authority was established as an organization under the State Ministry of Scientific Research to promote the use of state of the art space technology for the development of the country and introducing High Tech capabilities in regional planning and other applications. NARSS includes two major sectors: Remote Sensing and Space Sciences.
- The Academy of Scientific Research & Technology (ASRT) – The Academy of Scientific Research & Technology (ASRT) is a non‐profit organization affiliated to the Ministry of Scientific Research, established in September 1971 by the Presidential Decree No 2405 as the national authority responsible for science & technology in Egypt. In 1998, ASRT was reorganized by the Presidential Decree No 377 that defined its mission, function and activities.
- Nilesat: Egyptian Communication Satellite – Nilesat is committed to provide reliable, secure, high quality digital television, radio, and data services that aim to inform, educate and entertain our valued viewers throughout the Middle East and African areas.
Egyptian Pyramids from space
Dr. Essam Heggy during a session in ASMM
Looking west over the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. #EarthArt from the amazing International Space Station.
Credit: Shane Kimbrough, ISS, NASA.
Cairo (Capital of Egypt) at night.
Credit: NASA/JSC, ISS
One of the fascinating aspects of viewing Earth at night is how well the lights show the distribution of people. In this view of Egypt, we see a population almost completely concentrated along the Nile Valley, just a small percentage of the country’s land area. Credit: NASA/JSC, Expedition 25 Crew, ISS.
This photograph taken by an astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS) illustrates the morphology of the Strait.The relatively clear, deep-water passages of the western Strait of Tiran are visible at image left, while the more sinuous, shallow-water passage on the Saudi Arabia side can be seen at image top center. Credit: NASA/JSC, Expedition 36 Crew, ISS.