UAE astronauts to graduate from NASA


The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) announced that astronauts Nora AlMatrooshi and Mohammad AlMulla, from the second batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme, will graduate from the 2021 NASA Astronaut Candidate Class training programme on March 5 at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, USA.

After an intensive training period that began in January 2022, AlMatrooshi and AlMulla are set to complete more than two years of rigorous preparation, making them eligible for various spaceflight assignments. Their training encompassed a wide array of critical skills, including spacewalking, robotics, space station systems, T-38 jet proficiency, and Russian language.

The 2021 class features ten NASA candidates alongside the UAE’s AlMulla and AlMatrooshi, who is also the first female Arab astronaut. At the graduation ceremony, each candidate will be awarded an astronaut pin, signifying their graduation and qualifying them for future space missions, allowing them to contribute to ongoing and forthcoming explorations.

The Emirati astronauts for the second batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme, were announced in 2021 by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. MBRSC had received 4,305 applications for the positions, and the applicants underwent several phases of evaluation and qualification in accordance with international standards, before the final two candidates were selected.

The UAE Astronaut Programme is one of the projects managed by MBRSC under the UAE’s National Space Programme and funded by the ICT Fund of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), which aims to support research and development in the ICT sector in the UAE and promote the country’s integration on the global stage.

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