Public to get chance to question UAE's new astronauts

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on June 5, 2021

Recorded questions can be sent to Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre through direct messaging

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) is offering an opportunity to citizens, residents or anyone interested to ask relevant questions to the UAE’s two new astronauts Nora Al Matrooshi and Mohammad Al Mulla.

This comes ahead of the country gearing up to meet the new duo from the second batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme, on Tuesday during an onsite press conference.

In a recent tweet titled, Ask Nora Al Matrooshi and Mohammad Al Mulla, MBRSC states, “Record the question that you would like to ask Nora Al Matrooshi and Mohammad Al Mulla from the second batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme. Send it to us and we will pick a list of questions to be answered by Nora and Mohammad.”

Sharing details of the video that is to be sent to MBRSC’s inbox through direct messaging, the centre highlights, “video duration to be 30 seconds or less, start the video by mentioning your name and country followed by your question and the number of questions should be one.”

In April, the country announced the name of the first woman astronaut Nora Al Matrooshi along with her male colleague Mohammed Al Mulla – who is the latest to be recruited to the UAE’s growing astronaut corps, which already includes Maj Hazza Al Mansouri and Dr Sultan Al Neyadi.

In the final leg of the selection criteria, it’s said, five women and nine men were vying for the coveted roles – in the race to the second batch of MBRSC’s UAE Astronaut Programme for the future crewed space flights.

Out of 4,300 applicants for this programme, 1,400 were Emirati women in this batch, which was about 250 more than what it was in 2018.

By early next year, the two new astronauts will be joining the country’s veteran astronauts Al Mansouri and Al Neyadi for an arduous training at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas, US. This training is eventually aimed at creating a longer history-making journey to the International Space Station (ISS) later.

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