UAE begins second round of the UAE Astronaut Programme

More than 4,000 Emiratis applied to make the next trip to space following 2019’s historic mission

UAE begins second round of the UAE Astronaut Programme

Following on from the UAE’s historic space mission last year, which saw the first-ever Emirati (and Arabic) astronaut travel to the International Space Station (ISS), the UAE has begun preparations for a second mission by receiving applications from more than 4,000 Emirati candidates.

The Mohamed Bin Rashid Space Centre has announced that 4,305 candidates applied to be part of the second batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme, which last year saw Hazza Al Mansoori head to the ISS for a seven-day mission.

The next mission is set to take place in a couple of years, with an intensive, sustained training period for the two selected astronauts preceding the launch of a manned space mission alongside Al Mansoori. One in three of the applicants were female, and 130 of the applicants were PhD candidates, the majority of which study at UAE universities.

Many of the applicants come from organisations including the UAE Armed Forces, Abu Dhabi Police, Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline, and the MBRSC says phase two of the programme aims to help the country contribute to solving many problems on earth that can be solved using scientific research undertaken in space.

"Today, the UAE begins a new chapter in its path towards becoming a leader in the field of space research and exploration,” said Yousuf Hamad AlShaibani, Director-General of the MBRSC. “Supporting the UAE’s vision of a prosperous future based on knowledge and scientific research, the UAE Astronaut Programme aims to elevate the UAE among the ranks of the select few countries with an advanced space sector. The Programme also aims to achieve the strategic goals of the UAE’s space sector, including that of making a positive contribution towards creating a better tomorrow for humankind.”
To read more about Al Mansoori’s historic mission in 2019, click here.

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