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 Program. The move marks the start of a new phase of the UAE’s space exploration journey, Emirates News Agency WAM reported.
Sheikh Mohammed said the UAE’s ambitious space program continues to make progress in realizing Zayed’s ambition of making the country a leader in the space sector. The success of the eight-day mission of Hazza Al Mansoori, 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 Hazza Al Mansoori during his mission to ISS in September, Sheikh Mohammed told him: "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 program will commence immediately. The program is designed to prepare and train Emiratis to travel to space for various scientific missions. The program will benefit from the experiences of the first two UAE astronauts Hazza Al Mansoori and Sultan Al Neyadi.
On 7th December 2017, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid launched the UAE’s first Astronaut program dedicated to selecting and training Emirati astronauts for various space missions.
Hazza Al Mansoori and Sultan Al Neyadi were the first astronauts selected out of the program. Al Mansoori’s eight-day mission to the International Space Station, which took place from 25th September to 3rd October, saw 30 scientific experiments being conducted.
MBRSC invites Emiratis to register for the second edition of the UAE Astronaut Program online on mbrsc.ae/astronauts. The deadline for registration is 19th 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.