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The UAE’s space exploration aims to increase human knowledge about the cosmos
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Astronaut recruits: Just last week, the UAE and Russia penned an agreement to send the first Emirati astronaut into space on board the Soyuz-MS spacecraft to participate in research on the International Space Station. Four candidates will be selected from 95 shortlisted applicants – including 20 females – which, in turn, were selected from 4,022 applicants. The finallists will undergo an intensive astronaut training programme.
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Ample funding for research: The UAE has been very proactive in funding potentially useful space exploration-related research. The Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Accelerated Research announced that 36 projects as part of the MBR Space Settlement Challenge, which aims to establish space tech as a key economic sector. The projects were drawn from 260 proposals from over 200 universities in 55 countries.
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International cooperation: The UAE is rapidly becoming a global hub for those involved in space exploration. Recently, the country won a bid to host the International Conference on Space Operations (SpaceOps) in 2022, as well as the 71st International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in 2020. These events will mark milestones for the UAE’s efforts to bring together space exploration players from around the world.