Reaching For the Stars – The UAE Space Program

While the UAE is known to be a powerful force in the business space and a vital aviation hub for the entire world, it has not lagged behind in other areas of development. It has always been the endeavor of the Emirati rulers to develop other areas of development such as health & fitness, education, and other social wellness parameters. The United Arab Emirates Space Agency founded in 2014 is similarly committed to exploring the final frontier and creating a sustainable space sector in the country.

UAE’s first astronauts

It has been announced that Hazza Ali Abdan Khalfan Al Mansouri (a military fighter pilot) and Sultan Saif Muftah Hamad Al Niadi (an IT expert) have qualified  for the program. They were the ones who made it from among four thousand aspirants, to become a part of the IAE space program.

UAE space agency

It is the aim of the UAE space organisation to develop a sustainable space sector, promote scientific research and innovation, attract more young Emiratis towards the science of space and to build international cooperation and partnerships. The National Space Science and Technology Center in Al Ain was set up as a science and tech hub for the region with a focus on R&D, higher education and community outreach.

Currently undergoing training

The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has congratulated the two young men on their selection for the nation's space program. The two Emirati astronauts are currently undergoing training at the Russian Space agency. The training will also take place in America and Europe to prepare fully for the event of actual space travel.

An Emirati will go into space

While undergoing training, the astronauts will also be gauged on aspects such as endurance and ability to live and work in space. Aspects such as leadership qualities, and career specializations are also vital here. One of the two young Emirati men who made it to the final stages will be traveling into space in April 2019. They will be a part of a team of three – one astronaut each from the USA and Russia will also be a part of the mission.

The mission of hope to Mars

After putting an Emirati in space, the national space mission has more lofty plans. In the first of its kind program by an Arab Islamic country, the Emirates Space Agency plans to increase knowledge in space exploration via the Mission of Hope to Mars. The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre of Dubai aims to create a Mars orbiter that would likely reach the red planet by 2021. With the help of instruments mounted on the orbiter, it is expected that the first holistic diurnal pictures of Mars’ atmosphere will be revealed.

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