Emirati trainee astronaut Mohammed Al Mulla: The UAE offers opportunities to reach our dreams and ambitions

10 Theme Weeks that will take place throughout Expo, as part of the Programme for People and Planet

  

DUBAI – Following the successful launch of the UAE’s Hope probe mission earlier this year, Mohammed Al Mulla, alongside Nora Al Matrooshi, was chosen from more than 4,000 candidates to join the second batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme and receive training for future exploration missions.

The Expo News Service (ENS) team caught up with the Emirati, who has more than 1,500 flight hours under his belt as a pilot, at Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC) during Expo 2020 Dubai’s Space Week (17-23 October), in association with Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and the UAE Space Agency – one of 10 Theme Weeks that will take place throughout Expo, as part of the Programme for People and Planet.

Where were you before you joined MBRSC and what are the preparations you are making during this period?

“I had the honour to serve in the air wing of Dubai Police for 15 years, where I learnt a lot. We are now in the preparation stage at MBRSC, and we are undergoing training to qualify us to overcome any difficulties we may face in the future. We are practicing sports to maintain our physical fitness, and we are also learning Russian. I am very excited that I will start training with the NASA team next year, which is a new phase in my life.”

What motivated you to enter the space sector?

“Since childhood, I dreamt of being a pilot. After 15 years, changing careers is a great challenge. Meeting the UAE astronauts inspired my ambitions to become an astronaut – the UAE offers opportunities to reach our dreams and ambitions.”

Who did you receive support from?

“I received support from my family and friends – all of them told me that I would succeed if I applied, and I would be selected. Indeed, after difficult exams for a year, and after several interviews, I began to feel more pressure and started fainting from fear of failure and wasting all the effort I made. Fortunately, I passed all the auditions, and I was selected to join the team.”

In your opinion, what will Expo 2020 Dubai achieve for the UAE and humanity?

“Since I was young, I remember I used to hear the words of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, saying that Dubai is a global city. I am proud that we are hosting this international event that brings the world together in Dubai, and I believe this World Expo should be proud of its presence in Dubai. During the past 50 years since the UAE’s formation, Dubai and the UAE have achieved what no city or country in the world has achieved. Dubai and the UAE aspire to compete with the largest cities and countries in the world.”

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