The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), and the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, have signed a cooperation agreement to send the first Emirati astronaut to space to participate in scientific research as part of the Russian space mission to the International Space Station.
As part of the agreement, the UAE will send the first Emirati astronaut to the International Space Station in April of next year, on board Russia's Soyuz spacecraft. The flight will last for 10 days and training and preparation will begin next month for the trip.
The agreement supports the objectives of the 'UAE Centennial 2071' which focuses on the development of futuristic sciences across various sectors including innovation, space, engineering, and medicine.
"Sending the first Emirati astronaut to space will herald the beginning of a new era for the UAE and represents another step towards achieving the country's vision and aspirations for the space sector. Our vision to develop the national space sector is being realized with the development of a spacecraft, the construction of our first local satellite manufacturing facility, the training being given to Emirati astronauts, and the launch of a comprehensive scientific and research programme. We will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the UAE in 2021, and we will gift these accomplishments to our future generations so that their dreams will always start from the sky," expressed Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, VP and Prime Minister of the UAE.
The UAE today signed a landmark agreement to send the first Emirati astronaut to the International Space Station.We embarked on our vision, to develop the UAE's space sector, twelve years ago. Now it is bearing fruit.— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) June 20, 2018
"The agreement with the Russian Space Agency is part of a strategy to prepare the younger generation for facing future challenges brought by technological development. Selecting and training Emirati astronauts is crucial to the success of the UAE Space Programme. The selected astronauts will participate in scientific research programmes that will serve humanity and help develop the UAE space sector in the future," commented HE Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, Chairman of the Board of Directors of MBRSC.
The agreement was signed on the sidelines of UNISPACE +50, a symposium and special high-level meeting of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), being held in Vienna from 18 to 22 June. The agreement is part of the strategic objective of the MBRSC to advance the UAE's position as a leading country in the space industry, and its efforts to collaborate with major institutions to exchange knowledge and best practices in this field.