UAE Astronaut Programme to make history with first Emirati and Arab astronauts' space flight
- More than 1000 applications received to date
Dubai, 11 December 2017: Following the announcement from H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center is now accepting entries for the UAE Astronaut Programme. At the end of 2018, four carefully selected Emirati candidates will be chosen to form the UAE Astronaut team and undergo a three-year long intensive training programme to enable them to board the International Space Station (ISS).
The UAE Astronaut Programme has received more than 1000 applications of enthusiasts, only few days after the announcement. Young Emiratis - including all fields - ex-pilots, doctors, scientists, teachers and others can register. Finalists will go through training in theory and science, as well as specialty qualification courses, over several months and in accordance with the highest international standards and requirements. The team of four young Emirati astronauts who will be sent to space as part of the country's growing space exploration programme segues with its overall strategy to integrate advanced sciences into its national growth matrix.
Commenting on the initiative, H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center, said: ' The UAE Astronaut Programme is a boundless ambition that showcases the UAE's ongoing investment in science programmes to help serve national interests in the future, actively participating in global space exploration, and exploring the prospects of human life in space, including the possibility of inhabiting other planets.”
“I would like to personally thank every single young Emirati men and women who received well, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's call to become UAE's first batch of astronauts and contribute in his or her own way to the future of our determined nation, said H.E. Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, Director General of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center.
The selection of applicants to the UAE Astronaut Programme begins once the candidate submits his or her application which are then carefully screened and assessed based on the qualifications of the applicants. Shortlisted candidates will be chosen to undertake theoretical and practical tests, training and qualification courses, and aptitude tests, over several months, in accordance with the international standards required for different missions. This intensive screening programme allows Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center to choose the most suitable candidates for the board the International Space Station (ISS) in the first UAE space flight.
Further commenting on the programme, Salem Humaid Al Marri, Assistant Director General for Scientific and Technical Affairs in the UAE and Program Manager of UAE Astronaut Programme said: 'As per the vision of the UAE National Space Programme, and the wider vision for the advancement of the nation, the UAE Astronaut Programme aims to prepare and qualify Emirati astronauts through strong international cooperation and knowledge-transfer across space science. Our mission in space hasn't even started, it is the start of endless journey. The First Astronaut programme is the latest in a series of space projects announced and will be announced by the nation to ensure that the promise of space will be realized for the benefit of generations to come.
The UAE Astronaut Program provides Emirati youth with a unique opportunity to make a significant contribution to the advancement of UAE's space exploration and innovation industry. Ultimately, four well suited candidates will be chosen as part of the UAE Astronaut Team who will undergo a series of training programmes to hone and develop the required skillset to board the International Space Station (ISS) in the first UAE space flight. They will also be responsible for sharing their knowledge and experiences with other international astronauts and promote UAE achievements in the space sector.”
The chosen four astronauts forming the UAE Astronaut team will be subjected to a series of training programmes, which are divided into a year-long basic training modules and advanced training modules which will be conducted over a period of two years. As part of the programme, the astronauts will also travel to various Astronaut Training Centres around the world providing state-of-the-art simulation systems in the field of space training, to enable them to acquire the best skills in this area.