(POSTPONED) May 5, 2021: A Journey of Hope from Earth to Mars: Elevating the Role of Women in STEM Education and Advancing US-Arab Relations

Event Details - POSTPONED

May 5, 2021 | 12pm - 1pm | Zoom

Zoom information will be sent upon registration.


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Spacecraft Made With Help From UC Berkeley Arrives at Mars

Event Summary

Can a mission to study Martian climate inspire a generation of young Arabs to pursue STEM careers? How does the UAE foster widespread female involvement in STEM fields? 

Join us on May 5 at 12 PM to hear about the Amal (Hope) interplanetary probe and how this ambitious mission is driving societal, economic, and educational development in the UAE. The UC Berkeley Space Sciences Lab (SSL) is a major knowledge-transfer and educational partner in this historic endeavor, providing technical support and summer research internships to young, talented, curious Emirati college students over the last 6 years.  Dr. Rob Lillis is the UCB lead scientist for the Hope mission.  He and mission systems engineer Sasha Courtade will share their experiences alongside two of the bright young Emiratis who’ve spent stimulating summers at Berkeley studying Mars alongside SSL scientists.


  • Dr. Robert Lillis, Associate Director, SSL
  • Sasha Courtade, Aerospace Engineer, SSL 
  • Maryam Al Hosani, Visiting Student (Research Experience for Undergraduate - Summer 2019) 
  • Khalid Al Awar, Visiting Student (Research Experience for Undergraduate - Summer 2016)

About UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL)

  • SSL is a world-renowned institution that employs space scientists/astrophysicists, engineers, and craftspeople with a wide range of skills to create new instrumentation and novel technologies for various Space Research projects.
  • SSL, with its unique expertise, builds and flies instrumentation on various NASA space missions and benefits from collaborations from universities, research institutions and space agencies worldwide.
  • SSL projects tackle fundamental problems in Atmospheric Science, Space Physics, Heliophysics, Planetary Science and Astrophysics. We invent, build, and operate our satellites from our laboratory in the Berkeley hills.