UAE - The search is on for the next Emirati astronaut for UAE's second mission to space, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has announced.
The first Emirati astronaut Hazzaa AlMansoori had a successful eight-day mission to the International Space Station this year, from September 25 to October 3, and made history books.
Sheikh Mohammed said on his social media channels: "We are looking for a new Emirati astronaut for the second Emirati mission to space. For those who see ambition, energy and determination in our sons and daughters, sign up with Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), mbrsc.ae/astronauts. The mission continues and our journey towards space is still at its beginning."
In UAE's first mission, a total of 4,022 applications were received by MBRSC, with many who were women.
Salem Al Marri, the head of the UAE Astronaut Programme, had told Khaleej Times previously that selecting an astronaut depends on if the profile of the astronaut matches with the type of mission.
The first UAE mission to space was of a short duration, however, Al Marri said going further, they are looking at longer-term missions on the ISS.
He had said they are considering various partners for their next human space flight. Even though Russia's Soyuz spacecraft is currently the only one that can send humans to the ISS, there are other upcoming ones. This includes NASA's commercial crew space missions and Boeing's space flight.
"Having more options to get to space is always a good thing. If we look at three years ago, when we started looking at sending an astronaut, there was only the option of Soyuz," AlMarri had told KT.
"I always say that I love our Russian partners, their technologies, they are great people and partners for us. Having more options, that's definitely something beautiful because it gives us more opportunities to send people to the ISS and to take advantage of these seats.
"Previously, there was a very limited amount of seats that you could take and even more limited for short duration, taxi, flights that we took. So, for us to be able to get access to this kind of mission is very difficult and happens once every five years. We are looking at Boeing, SpaceX and these things will start becoming successful in 2020 and we've got our eyes on that and on the Russians."
Emiratis can apply to UAE's Astronaut Programme online at mbrsc.ae/astronauts.
Criteria to apply
>All professions will be considered
>Nationality should be Emirati
>Language proficiency in Arabic and English
>Education: University graduate (bachelor's or higher)
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