UAE to send first Emirati astronaut for 6-month mission to International Space Station

Emirates will be the 11th country in history to send a long-term mission to space

By Web Desk

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Published: Fri 29 Apr 2022, 2:11 PM

Last updated: Fri 29 Apr 2022, 10:49 PM

The UAE signed a new agreement to send the first Arab is set to send the first Arab astronaut for a 182-day long mission to the International Space Station.

UAE has booked a spot to send an Emirati astronaut to be part of the SpaceX Crew-6 mission scheduled for launch in 2023 from Florida’s Kennedy Space Centre.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in a tweet wrote: "The UAE will be the 11th country in history to send a long-term mission to space."

"Proud of the UAE youth."

The deal was signed between UAE's Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and Axiom Space.

Salem Al Marri, Director General of Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, said, "Emirati astronauts are fully prepared for this mission after undergoing extensive training in preparation for long-term missions in space. The training included spacewalks, working on the systems of the International Space Station, and other missions."

He continued, "Signing an agreement with Axiom Space is a significant development aimed aimed at consolidating the collaboration with NASA for the 6-month mission aboard the ISS.

"The exciting new era of human spaceflight entered a new phase with the signing of an agreement between MBRSC and Axiom Space. The agreement lays the groundwork for one of our astronauts to join NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 on board the ISS."

Commenting on the milestone achievement, Hamad Obaid AlMansoori, chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, “The first long-term mission for Arab astronauts signifies the extraordinary progress made by the UAE National Space Programme. This momentous endeavour has been made possible as a result of the vision of the leadership of the UAE.

“The six-month duration of the new UAE Astronaut Programme’s mission will allow for in-depth and advanced experiments to be undertaken in space. Long-duration missions have only been accomplished by a small number of countries. The UAE will now rise to the ranks of this elite group after having entered the sector merely decades ago," he added.


NASA has given the go-ahead to another private crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

The agency will work with Axiom Space to find a window for the Houston-based company's second ISS mission, NASA officials had made the announcement in December 2021. That flight, known as Ax-2, is currently scheduled to launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida between fall 2022 and spring 2023.

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