In May 2023, Libya witnessed its first space camp, which was set up by the Roaya for Astronomy and Space Application Foundation, and it is a gathering of young people interested in space science, which was held in the city of Shahat. The idea of the camp came from the need to bring together young people who are interested in space sciences and astronomy, and as a visionary institution, the organizers believe that the camp will be a message of peace in Libya.
Preparations for the camp began in September 2022 with writing a detailed camp plan, including logistical, scientific, and information materials. The preparation phase started in February 2023, and the camp in May was the result of 7 months of planning and implementation. The camp team consists of 20 people, including a specialized logistical, media, and academic team.
The camp aims to spread social peace through astronomy and space technology and to train Libyan youth interested in space science and its applications to the basic concepts of this discipline. Despite the challenges, such as high coordination requirements, logistical difficulties in transporting participants from different regions of Libya to El Shahat, and security difficulties, the organizers managed the camp successfully.
The space camp in Libya was a comprehensive program that included a variety of activities aimed at providing participants with a deeper understanding of space science and astronomy. The camp featured an astronomical observation of the moon using telescopes in the Greek ruins in Cyrene, which allowed participants to witness the beauty of the moon up close and gain a better understanding of its composition and features. A lecture by a professor from Morocco on the relationship of the moon to the Islamic Hijri calendar was also a key event at the space camp, providing participants with a deeper appreciation of the significance of the moon in Islamic culture. An art gallery of satellite images of the Earth was on display at the camp, showcasing the beauty and diversity of our planet from a different perspective. Additionally, lectures on the concept of science and the philosophy of science provided participants with a deeper understanding of the scientific method and the importance of critical thinking in scientific research. A tour of the ruins of the city of Cyrene was also conducted, allowing participants to learn about the historical significance of the city and its importance in ancient times. Practical activities such as rocket launch effectiveness and understanding of Newton’s third law allowed participants to build and launch their own rockets while learning about the principles of physics. The camp also featured planetarium shows that allowed participants to explore the wonders of the universe and gain a better understanding of the objects and phenomena present in space. Overall, the variety of activities offered at the space camp provided participants with a diverse range of learning opportunities and experiences. The organizers’ commitment to providing a holistic and interactive program ensured that the participants left with not only increased knowledge but also new friendships and a passion for space science and astronomy.
After the camp ended, the organizers claimed that it had achieved its goals. All participants were very pleased with the program and the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals for joint astronomical events in the future. The organizers plan to continue the Space Camp annually, and the second Space Camp is set to have more participants and more events.
In general, the first space camp in Libya was a successful event that brought together young people interested in space sciences and astronomy, spread a message of peace, and promoted the training of Libyan youth in space science and its applications. The organizers’ commitment to continuing the Space Camp annually demonstrates their dedication to promoting the development of space science and astronomy in Libya, as well as promoting peace and cooperation among youth.