From a desert with abras and fishermen to a metropolitan with a satellite and astronauts, it’s a glorious day for UAE taking the next step toward space exploration!
More than 4,000 Emiratis applied for the program
Hazza Al Mansouri and Sultan Al Nayadi were announced as the first two Emirati astronauts who will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS), from the 4,000 Emirati applications for the Mars probe program. Their selection was announced after passing a “six stage vetting process” at Roscosmos, Russia’s Space Agency.
New phase for UAE
Ruler of Dubai, Prime Minister and Vice President of UAE, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum credits Al Mansouri and Al Nayadi as representing “the pinnacle of UAE’s ambitions” and they “raise the bar for an entire generation.” He said “We have the region’s only Mars exploration program, a fully operating satellite manufacturing capability and an astronaut program as part of our Dhs 20 billion investment in the space sector. The secret is our young Arab people and their capabilities.”
Whereas, Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center said: “This announcement is the beginning of a new phase and a milestone for our beloved nation and the young people of the nation who aspire for a brighter future.”
KhalifaSat to launch this October
Meanwhile, another achievement UAE will make is the launch of KhalifaSat next month in Japan. It’s the third locally made remote sensing satellite, developed by Emirati engineers in UAE. The launch of KhalifaSat will mark a “new era of satellite manufacturing by nationals on UAE soil.”