Abu Dhabi, Dec 6.- United Arab Emirates' Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has launched Wednesday UAE's first Astronaut program dedicated to selecting and training four Emirati astronauts on various space missions so they can head to the International Space Station within the next five years.
In a statement, Al Maktoum, also Vice President and ruler of Dubai, highlighted the decision and called on your Emiratis to register for the UAE Astronaut Program through the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre. "The most competitive applicants will be selected to be ambassadors for the UAE in space exploration. However, every single Emirati will contribute in his or her own way to the future of the UAE, whether it's on land, or in the skies,' the Prime Minister said. The Astronaut Program is the first of its kind in a series of projects in the UAE dedicated to developing advanced sciences in order to empower future generations.
The UAE is investing in science programs 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.
The UAE Astronauts Programme is part of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre initiatives, and is dedicated to selecting and training ambitious and successful Emiratis in space exploration. The programme will support the UAE's mission to become a hub for the space sector in the region and to become global leader in space exploration over the next 50 years.
The top students will be screened before four Emirati astronauts are selected to form the UAE's Astronaut Team. The four will join the International Space Station on the first UAE space mission ever, to share knowledge and experience with other global astronauts.
The astronauts will enhance the UAE's achievements in the space sector by undertaking scientific experiments within an integrated project aimed at exploring biology and ways of adapting living organisms in non-terrestrial environments, for the benefit of mankind.
The four astronaut's trip to the International Space Station will mark the first step in the UAE's journey in space exploration.
Up to now there are only two Arabs who have been in space, Sultán bin Salman Al-Saud,from Saudi Arabia,in 1985, and the Syrian pilot Muhammed Faris, who spent one week in the Russian Spàce Station MIR in 1987. (Prensa Latina)