Fit and ready to fly? UAE space program seeks wannabe astronauts

 Fit and ready to fly? UAE space program seeks wannabe astronauts
The hunt for the first United Arab Emirates (UAE) astronauts is on after the Gulf nation’s prime minister opened the space program to applicants.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said the country’s state-of-the-art space center is hoping to find four people capable of undergoing intense training and join a UAE-sponsored mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

“On this day, a new chapter in our history begins with the launch of the first UAE Astronaut Programme, dedicated to training and sending four Emirati Astronauts into space,” Al Maktoum said in a statement on Wednesday.

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“The people of the UAE will break barriers, there is no power strong enough to stand in the way of those who believe nothing is impossible.Our ambitious goals are fueled by dedicated people, who support us until, without hesitation or scepticism, we succeed.”

He added that only the “most competitive” applicants will become ambassadors for the country’s nascent space programme.

Dubai’s Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center, which launched its first satellite in 2009, officially became the base for the UAE National Space Programme earlier this year. An application form on the space center website details the criteria for astronauts. It reveals that only Emirati men and women educated to university level will be accepted.

في يوم من أيامنا الوطنية التي سيخلدها تاريخنا.. نعلن عن أول برنامج لاختيار وإعداد وارسال أول 4 رواد فضاء إماراتيين في مهمات فضائية .. سيكسر أبناء الامارات حاجزاً جديداً في طموحهم الذي لن تحدّه سماء.. أو فضاء.. ولا توجد قوة تقف أمام إرادة شعب يحب المستحيل.. طموحاتنا لن تتوقف.. لأن وراءها رجالاً.. وانجازاتنا لن تتباطأ لأن معها عقولاً وأفكاراً.. ومسيرتنا مستمرة بقوة لأننا لا نلتفت للوراء.. ولا يصل متردد.. ولا ينجح مشكك.. أدعو شبابنا وشاباتنا للتسجيل في برنامج الإمارات لرواد الفضاء عبر مركز محمد بن راشد للفضاء. سيتم اختيار الأفضل والأقدر والأكثر كفاءة ليكونوا سفراءنا للفضاء. وأؤكد أن كل شاب وشابة لهم دور في مستقبل الإمارات.. على أرضها أو في سمائها أو عبر فضاء كونها الفسيح. http://www.mbrsc.ae/astronauts On this day, a new chapter in our history begins with the launch of the first UAE Astronaut Programme, dedicated to sending four Emirati Astronauts into space. The people of the UAE will break new barriers; nothing can stand in the way of those who believe nothing is impossible.. Our ambitious goals are fuelled by dedicated people, who support us until, without hesitation or scepticism, we succeed. I invite young Emiratis to register for the UAE Astronaut Programme through the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre at http://www.mbrsc.ae/astronauts The most competitive applicants will be selected to be ambassadors for the UAE in space exploration. However, every single Emirati will contribute in his or her own way to the future of the UAE, whether it’s on land, or in the skies. #UAEastronauts #رواد_فضاء_الإمارات

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If accepted, the astronauts will train for around three years, with the first stage of preparation to begin in 2019. During advanced training, the trailblazing Emirati men or women will learn skills in robotics and in craft navigation.

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“Astronauts should be fit and in good health to ensure they are able to fly to space,” the application states.

“This does not mean we are looking for Olympic athletes, but mobility and some strength is required. In addition, candidates should also be able to demonstrate that they have the personality to be able to work as part of a team.”

The UAE government is aiming to make the oil-rich nation a space superpower in the coming years. In April, Al-Maktoum revealed that scientists were working on sending a probe to Mars by 2021. The ambitious Emirates Mars Mission also plans to help settle the Red Planet by 2117.