Celebrating 50 years since the first Moon landing, Qatar National Library recently hosted a public presentation on space exploration, in collaboration with the US embassy in Qatar. Nasa’s Dr Mary Ellen Weber presented “The Moon and Beyond: The Experience of Space and Future of Space Exploration', sharing experiences from her 10 years as an astronaut.
Dr Weber flew on two Space Shuttle missions. Her first flight was aboard STS-70 Discovery and her second was the STS-101 Atlantis mission for the construction of the International Space Station.
Dr Weber continues to serve on the Nasa Advisory Council Committee on Technology, Innovation and Engineering, and is a consultant in technology innovation, strategic communications and high-risk operations.
Rashid al-Ali, a high school student who attended the talk, said: “I am fascinated by people who want to achieve extraordinary things. Dr Weber is one such person, and I was fortunate to have the chance to listen to her insightful lecture.
“I always wanted to learn about travelling to space from someone who has actual first-hand experience. As a scientist-to-be, I appreciate the commitment and hard work that Dr Weber, and in fact all space scientists, put in to make such marvellous adventures possible.”
Mohamed Siraj, another participant, added: “I have attended around 20 events at the library over the past seven months since I moved to Qatar with my family. There is something for everyone to learn and an opportunity to meet new people.
“My younger daughter even wore her spacesuit to come and hear Dr Weber speak. I think the lecture is a great example of how the library offers something for everyone in Qatar and is inspiring young people to follow their own dreams.”
For more about the library’s full programme of upcoming events, one can visit: https://www.qnl.qa/en/events.