NASA to train Emirati Astronauts: MBRSC pens agreement

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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UAE’s national space agency, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has entered into a strategic alliance with leading international space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to train Emirati astronauts in the US. 

The arrangement will allow Emirati astronauts to be at NASA facilities and gain highest level of expertise and knowledge while preparing for advanced space missions.

Apart from Emirati astronauts Hazzaa AlMansoori and Sultan AlNeyadi who are already taking part in several NASA training initiatives, two more from the second batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme will join the 2021 NASA Astronaut Candidate Class.

UAE astronauts will be trained at one of the world’s largest centres for spaceflight training, research, and mission control, NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston which has been at the forefront of American human space flight programmes.

All four UAE astronauts will be trained to conduct missions on the International Space Station (ISS) including simulated space walks, extended stays, extravehicular activity, T-38 jet courses, robotics, water and land survival, theoretical training and Russian language skills.

Earlier, UAE astronauts Hazzaa AlMansoori and Sultan AlNeyadi conducted their trainings at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Moscow for their launch to ISS.

Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori
Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori
Chairman – MBRSC

“The global space sector is based on international cooperation fostered by establishing alliances and building bridges of knowledge with leading international space organisations and agencies. The strategic partnership with NASA, a space pioneer for more than 60 years, supports the strategy of the UAE’s National Space Programme. Emirati astronauts will benefit from NASA’s extensive infrastructure, experience and knowledge in spaceflight development and operations.”

“This agreement is a clear testament of the strong economic, cultural and diplomatic ties between the UAE and the USA. The UAE space sector today has advanced expertise that must be enhanced and utilised for future space missions. These accomplishments have raised the global profile of the UAE space sector and enhanced the capabilities of Emirati astronauts.”

Managed by Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, the UAE Astronaut Programmefunded by the ICT Fund of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), which aims to support research and development in the ICT sector in the UAE.