Dubai, UAE: The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) today announced that astronauts Nora AlMatrooshi and Mohammad AlMulla, from the second batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme, will graduate from the 2021 NASA Astronaut Candidate Class training programme on March 5 at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, USA.

After an intensive training period that began in January 2022, AlMatrooshi and AlMulla are set to complete more than two years of rigorous preparation, making them eligible for various spaceflight assignments. Their training encompassed a wide array of critical skills, including spacewalking, robotics, space station systems, T-38 jet proficiency, and Russian language.

The 2021 class features ten NASA candidates alongside the UAE’s AlMulla and AlMatrooshi, who is also the first female Arab astronaut. At the graduation ceremony, each candidate will be awarded an astronaut pin, signifying their graduation and qualifying them for future space missions, allowing them to contribute to ongoing and forthcoming explorations.

The Emirati astronauts for the second batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme, were announced in 2021 by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. MBRSC had received 4,305 applications for the positions, and the applicants underwent several phases of evaluation and qualification in accordance with international standards, before the final two candidates were selected.

The UAE Astronaut Programme is one of the projects managed by MBRSC under the UAE’s National Space Programme and funded by the ICT Fund of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), which aims to support research and development in the ICT sector in the UAE and promote the country’s integration on the global stage.


For Media Queries:
MBRSC Media Team -


MBRSC is an advanced scientific and technological hub, responsible for making the UAE a world leader in space services and exploration.

Established in 2006, the Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) started out with five engineers, who took it upon themselves to develop their capabilities and expand their knowledge in the field of space, relying on strong will and solid determination. Since then, the centre has continued its journey to be the incubator of the UAE National Space Programme. The MBRSC is home to the UAE Satellite Programme, UAE Astronaut Programme, Mars 2117 Programme and Emirates Mars Mission, among others. Under its satellite programme, the Centre has built, developed, and operated several Earth observation satellites, including DubaiSat-1, DubaiSat-2 and KhalifaSat, the first satellite that was fully built by Emiratis in 2018. The Centre is currently developing the MBZ-SAT, which is expected to be launched in 2024 and will be the latest in the field of high-resolution imaging from outer space.

MBRSC is also developing the Emirates Airlock, a crew and science airlock module for the Gateway lunar space station, humanity's first international outpost to orbit the Moon. Additionally, the UAE will also be sending an Emirati astronaut on a Moon mission. Under the UAE Astronaut Programme, MBRSC currently has four astronauts, two of who have undertaken missions to the International Space Station, including the recently concluded longest Arab space mission in history by Sultan AlNeyadi. The Mars 2117 Programme includes the Emirates Lunar Mission, UAE Analog Programme and Space Ventures.