UAE astronaut programme’s second batch set to graduate next month

The UAE’s ambitious space exploration journey reaches another significant milestone as the second batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme prepares to graduate next month. Out of an impressive pool of 4,305 applicants, Nora AlMatrooshi and Mohammad AlMulla have emerged as the chosen candidates.

These two individuals from the second batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme underwent intensive training at NASA’s renowned Johnson Space Centre, made possible through a joint strategic agreement between the UAE and the US. Salem Al Marri, the Director General of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), proudly announced that the Emirates astronauts will graduate on March 5, marking a historic first for the programme with Emirati graduates.

“The UAE is immensely proud of our pioneers who have undergone rigorous training and emerged successful,” stated Al Marri. Following their graduation, the astronauts will engage in various assignments and missions at NASA and the MBRSC in Dubai. They will also contribute to projects like the Lunar Gateway, playing a pivotal role in space exploration.

Moreover, MBRSC is advancing its space capabilities with the development of the MBZ-SAT, the most advanced commercial satellite in the region for high-resolution satellite imagery. Amer Al Sayegh, Senior Director of the Space Engineering Department at MBRSC, provided updates on the MBZ-SAT project, highlighting its significance in bolstering the UAE’s space sector.

Furthermore, the agreement between MBRSC and NASA includes the provision of a pressure equalization unit by the UAE for the Lunar Gateway station, securing a seat for an Emirati astronaut to orbit the moon and conduct scientific research.

Al Sayegh emphasized the growing importance of the space sector to the UAE’s economy, highlighting the international recognition and trust earned through dedicated hard work in this groundbreaking industry.


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