The UAE is not hitting the breaks on their space quest…

Hot on the heels of Emirati spaceman Sultan Al Neyadi’s return to Earth, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai and President of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), has revealed a blueprint of the country’s future space missions.

Sheikh Hamdan recently chaired a meeting of the MBRSC Board of Directors, in which he was briefed about the vision, ambition and upcoming missions in the UAE’s quest for space exploration. While the first, incredibly significant steps have been taken with Al Neyadi and Hazza Al Mansouri, the bigger picture seeks to place the UAE among the top players in the global space industry.

The success of Al Neyadi’s mission – the longest Arab space mission in history, with the first Arab spacewalk in history and over 200 experiments conducted over the course of six months – has paved the way for more to come.

Sheikh Hamdan said, “In the next phase of our journey, we are set to implement exceptional projects that will open new horizons for space exploration. The UAE’s rapidly advancing space sector is poised to evolve into a significant global contributor in the field, drawing from the rich expertise, knowledge and strategic partnerships we have acquired through unique initiatives and missions.”

Picturing the future

UAE female astronaut

The next steps in the UAE Astronaut Programme will see the training and preparation of Mohammad Al Mulla and Nora Al Matrooshi, selected to train alongside 10 NASA astronauts.

The two Emirati astronauts will be ready to make spaceward journeys once they graduate from the programme in 2024. Nora Al Matrooshi will be the first female UAE astronaut to jet off into space – making this space mission ‘one giant leap for womankind’.

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The latest satellite building projects, which aim to design, build and operate advanced earth-monitoring satellites, include the MBZ-SAT, which upon its launch next year will be the most advanced commercial satellite in the region in the field of high-resolution satellite imagery.

The satellite Payload Hosting Initiative, a joint effort by MBRSC and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), is meant to foster the growth of space sciences and technology in developing countries.

We wish the UAE all the very best for their upcoming space plans, and of course, we will be taking you along for the ride as and when new information is announced.


Images: Emirates News Agency