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A Job That’s Out of This World

by Eddie Rayner

Ever wondered what it would take to become an astronaut? Well, the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has opened 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.

Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said that this 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 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.”

The programme is designed to prepare and train Emiratis to travel to space for various scientific missions and will benefit from the experiences of the first two UAE astronauts, Hazza Al Mansoori and Sultan Al Neyadi.

MBRSC invites Emiratis to register for the UAE Astronaut Programme online at mbrsc.ae/astronauts. The deadline for registration is 19th January 2020. Applicants will go through several tests, including physical, mental, and psychological, before the final set of participants are selected. Applicants should be UAE nationals above 18 years of age, have proficiency in Arabic and English, and be university graduates. People of all professions are invited to register.