In a new Arab achievement, the UAE announced the selection of the first two UAE astronauts in cooperation with the Russian space agency “Roskosmos” to carry out scientific missions at the International Space Station. Hazaa Ali Abdan Khalfan Al Mansouri and Sultan Saif Miftah Hamad Al Nayadi were selected from among 4,000 young Emirati men and women who have been tested in the UAE’s astronaut program to rehabilitate and send UAE astronauts to outer space, according to the UAE news agency WAM.
One of the astronauts will embark on space in April as the first Emirati astronaut to space on a 10-day mission as part of a Russian space mission to the International Space Station aboard the Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft. The second astronaut will be a reserve. Al Mansouri and Nayadi were successful in reaching the final stage of the nominations after passing six stages of medical, psychological and advanced tests, and a series of personal interviews, in cooperation with NASA and advanced medical tests at Roskosmos.
Hazza Al Mansouri, 34, has more than 14 years of experience in aviation, and has undergone a range of training programs including advanced specialist courses to survive drowning, rotation training, acceleration strength up to 9G, and Red Flag maneuvers in the United States. Sultan Al Nayadi is 37 years old and holds a PhD in Information Technology (Data Leak Prevention) from Griffith University in Australia in 2016, a Masters in Information Security and Networking from the same university, and a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communications from the University of Brighton, He completed the General Information Technology Education Program from the United Kingdom in 2001.
Advanced program The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center launched the Emirates Pioneers program in December 2017, opening the electronic registration for anyone who finds himself competent and worthy to be the first Emirati astronaut. The UAE astronaut program includes intensive training phases in which candidates will pass several stages of training and will send the first UAE astronaut to the International Space Station at the end of the training period to participate in space exploration missions, as determined by the government. The ISS is a huge human-life satellite, orbiting low Earth orbit and carrying a crew of six astronauts who spend 35 hours a week conducting scientific research in various physical and biological disciplines.