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Space Week: NASRDA invites NOA, organisations to back space awareness programmes

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Space Week: NASRDA invites NOA, organisations to back space awareness programmes

By Ijeoma Olorunfemi

The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) appealed to the National Guidance Agency (NOA) and corporate organizations to support awareness of space science and technology for human development.

Professor Spencer Onu, director of the Center for Satellite Technology Development (CSTD), a center of the agency’s activities, made the call Wednesday in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja.

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The UN made the appeal as Nigeria joins the world in commemorating World Space Week which will be celebrated from October 4-10.

The theme of the year focuses on “Women in Space” to recognize the achievements of women in the space sector.

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The week is set aside for celebrating the contributions of space science and technology to the development of human conditions and sustainable development.

World Space Week was created by a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly in December 1999.

The director said there is a need to educate young people and accept knowledge of space programs and involve them.

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“We need to change the focus of our young people to know that the space program is for everyone, men and women.

“It is also the responsibility of the space agency to ensure that information about the space program is in the public domain; we have to invite the schools, organize talk shows to inform them about the space program.

“The agency does a certain level of awareness, but it is not enough.

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“Agencies like NOA can be involved in raising awareness about the program because it’s something that affects everyone.

“Businesses like telecom companies can also participate in space awareness,” he said.

According to him, the space program is important for sustainable development and there is a need to be proactive in providing information on space programs.

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He decried that globally, statistics showed that women made up only 10 percent of human space travelers, “which is poor compared to their male counterparts.”

UN said women in the sector should also encourage young people to take up careers in space science and technology.

“The females will have to get out of the box the males put them and with their participation in the space science program they are generally more successful.”

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“The recent Space X, a fully civilian space mission, has two women on board and when the young girls see these women they will be encouraged and they will serve as role models,” he said.

He said there should be a deliberate recruitment of women into science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and space to bridge the gender gap.

The director denounced that culture and tradition affected women’s participation in STEM and space science programs, but this could be fixed.

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Source: NAN

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