Hazzaa, Sultan to play key role in selecting next UAE astronaut

Sarwat Nasir/Dubai
Filed on December 7, 2019 | Last updated on December 7, 2019 at 06.48 pm
Hazzaa, Sultan, Sultan AlNeyadi, Hazzaa AlMansoori, key role, selecting, next UAE astronaut,
UAE astronauts plant a tree at the historic Cosmonaut Alley in Baikonur.-Photo by Sarwat Nasir

AlMansoori's time on the ISS will help get the best person for the job.

The UAE's first two astronauts Hazzaa AlMansoori and Sultan AlNeyadi will play a "key role" in the selection process of the next astronaut, a top official has said. Their experience in the selection process, extensive training and AlMansoori's time on the ISS will help get the best person for the job, the head of the UAE Astronaut Programme at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), Salem Al Marri, told Khaleej Times.

"That experience will be very important for us to select the next astronaut," he said. "We are expecting quite a lot of people to apply, especially after the first historic mission and seeing Hazzaa in space.

"Now that we have an active astronaut corps of two people, the objective is to add more and get them trained. It'll be very similar to the previous selection ... We are looking at selecting some of the best and capable people that can support our objective. We are very lucky that we selected Hazzaa and Sultan and they have very different skill sets, but at the same time, we want to add different levels of skills."

When asked when the next space mission is, Al Marri said they are "working on the next steps and details will be announced once ready".

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