Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has directed the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) to open registration for the second edition of the UAE Astronaut Programme. The move marks the start of a new phase of the UAE’s space exploration journey.
Sheikh Mohammed said the UAE’s ambitious space programme continues to make progress in realising Zayed’s ambition of making the country a leader in the space sector. The success of the eight-day mission of Hazzaa Al Mansouri, the first Emirati astronaut, to the International Space Station (ISS), which was made possible through the efforts of the MBRSC team, represents another step forward in the country’s space ambitions.
During a call with Hazzaa Al Mansouri during his mission to ISS in September, Sheikh Mohammed told Hazzaa: “You’re a source of pride for all Emiratis. You’re the first (Emirati to travel to space) and the first is always remembered. However, I can proudly assure you that a generation of young Emiratis will follow in your footsteps and become space scientists and technology pioneers.”
Following Sheikh Mohammed’s directives, MBRSC said the second edition of the programme will commence immediately. The programme is designed to prepare and train Emiratis to travel to space for various scientific missions. The programme will benefit from the experiences of the first two UAE astronauts Hazza Al Mansouri and Sultan Al Neyadi.
On 7 December 2017, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid launched the UAE’s first Astronaut programme dedicated to selecting and training Emirati astronauts for various space missions. Hazza Al Mansouri and Sultan Al Neyadi were the first astronauts selected out of the programme. Al Mansouri’s eight-day mission to the International Space Station, which took place from 25 September to 3 October, saw 30 scientific experiments being conducted.
MBRSC invites Emiratis to register for the second edition of the UAE Astronaut Programme online on mbrsc.ae/astronauts. The deadline for registration is 19 January 2020. Applicants will go through several tests including physical, mental and psychological tests, before the final set of participants are selected. Applicants should be UAE Nationals above 18 years old, have proficiency in Arabic and English, and be university graduates. People of all professions are invited to register. For more information, please visit: https://www.mbrsc.ae/astronaut-programme#AstroAbout