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Jordan’s first Rover, Spacesuit Design Competitions conclude in Wadi Rum

By Rayya Al Muheisen - Oct 26,2021 - Last updated at Oct 26,2021

The Jordan Space Research Initiative concluded its Rover and Spacesuit Design Competitions on October 21 after a three-day event in Wadi Rum (Photo courtesy of JSRI)

AMMAN — The Jordan Space Research Initiative (JSRI) concluded its Rover and Spacesuit Design Competitions on October 21 after a three-day event in Wadi Rum.

The competition was organised by the JSRI in collaboration with Zain Innovation Campus (ZINC), LuminusShamalStart and Borderless Labs.

The JSRI consists of a team of five Jordanian women dedicated to creating new opportunities for Jordanians in space research and exploration.

“We were able to build the rover with limited resources and lots of passion and hard work,” said Seif Addeen Alshalabi, a member of the rover competition winning team “Field Hawk”, during a phone interview with The Jordan Times.

Seif noted that building the rover was a team effort that went through many different stages; from concept building to referencing and implementation.

Another Field Hawk team member, Abdallah Abu Elayyan, told The Jordan Times that applying the technology he had learned at university, getting feedback from technology experts and applying his knowledge in the space field were the top motives behind signing up for the competition. 

“The experience was challenging yet fun”, said Salam Abualhayj’a, a member of the Spacesuit Design Competition winning team “Alpha”, told The Jordan Times. 

“The biggest challenge we faced was finding the materials for the spacesuit. The materials we needed for our design were either unavailable in Jordan or highly restricted for public use,” Abualhayj’a continued. 

“We studied Material Science, did a lot of research and were finally able to replace the needed materials with similar alternatives in terms of weight and heat reserving,” he concluded.

The competitions were the first to be held in the field of space research and innovation in Jordan, and was organised by a Jordanian team. 

The aim of these competitions is to foster space exploration efforts and research in Jordan by highlighting and supporting local talents and capabilities, according to a JSRI statement sent to the Jordan Times. 

The statement added that the competitions were kick-started by the JSRI this March and consisted of two different stages: The preliminary design stage and the prototyping stage. Participants were asked to design a rover or spacesuit that addressed some predefined requirements and challenges. 

The submitted designs were reviewed and only six teams were shortlisted for the finals. 

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