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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

UAE Astronaut Programme application deadline extended 

The extension is to encourage more Emiratis to apply

The UAE is planning to send four Emirati astronauts into space by 2021. Courtesy Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future
The UAE is planning to send four Emirati astronauts into space by 2021. Courtesy Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future

More Emiratis will have the chance to be one of the UAE’s first astronauts as the registration deadline for the UAE Astronaut Programnme has been extended to March 31.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre announced on Thursday that the extension is to allow more Emiratis to apply.

The extension will also provide the centre with more time to begin to process the large numbers of applications they have already received.

“Our call on Emiratis to submit their applications to join the UAE astronaut programme was very well-received across the UAE and we take pride in the interest Emirati men and women have shown in the field of space exploration,” said Salem Al Marri, assistant director general for scientific and technical affairs at centre.

“The extension provides us with the time we need to assess the applications accurately and we would like to encourage more candidates, especially doctors, professors and engineers, to take advantage of the extended deadline and participate in this historical journey for the UAE and the Arab world,” he said.

More than 3,000 Emiratis have applied to the programme. About one in four were Emirati women, six out of ten had a degree in science, mathematics, technology or engineering, while one in five was a qualified pilot, said Mr Al Marri during the World Government Summit in Dubai last month.

By the end of the year, the number of applicants will be narrowed down to an astronaut corps of four, who will begin training for missions to the International Space Station.

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Read more:

Search for the fantastic four: Sheikh Mohammed begins hunt for first Emirati astronauts

The UAE's journey to space

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In April, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed announced the establishment of the UAE National Space Programme and the launch of the UAE Astronaut Programme, which plans to send the first Emirati astronaut to space and open the door for future explorations.

The intention is to have the first UAE astronaut in space by 2021, in time for the country’s 50th anniversary.