The first Emirati will be sent into space in April 2019.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has announced that 39 of 95 candidates have successfully passed the physical and psychological tests to qualify for the preliminary roster of the UAE Astronaut Programme.
The programme hopes to train and prepare a team of Emiratis to be sent into space for various scientific missions, with the first Emirati expected to be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) in April 2019.
According to the MBRSC, the testing including interviews, a clinical test and a number of activities designed to measure intelligence, aptitude, neurocognitive ability, personality and working one.
Following the tests, one-on-one interviews were conducted with the initial selection committee in which the candidates’ personalities were evaluated to ensure they can cope with the difficult conditions of operating in space.
“MBRSC works according to the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum [Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai] to build national capabilities in the field of space science and take this sector to strategic levels,” said MBRSC Director General Yousuf Al Shaibani. “We are proud of all the Emirati talents who registered for this ambitious programme and we are happy with their persistence to reach highest levels.”
Al Shaibani added that the final interviews will begin on July 3. The final assessments will be supervised by a team of experts from the MBRSC in addition to international experts from a number of space agencies.
Recently, the UAE and Russia signed an agreement to send the first Emirati astronaut to the ISS on board a Russian Soyuz-MS Spacecraft.