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In pics: Sheikh Mohammed meets with the first UAE astronauts

In pics: Sheikh Mohammed meets with the first UAE astronauts

One of the two astronauts will travel to the International Space Station (ISS) on September 25, 2019

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum received the UAE’s first astronauts, Sultan Al Neyadi and Hazzaa Al Mansouri at the Za’abeel Palace on Tuesday.

The UAE’s Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai discussed with the two astronauts their future journey to space aboard a Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station.

One of the two astronauts will be selected for the journey that will last one week.

Sheikh Mohammed was also briefed about their preparations and scientific training they are undertaking.

He wished them success, adding that “investing in science and education as well as training youth is a top priority of the UAE”.

The two Emirati astronauts were selected among 4,200 candidates as part of the UAE astronaut programme which seeks to send the first Emirati astronauts to participate in global space exploration missions.

They were chosen after a series of medical, psychological and advanced tests and interviews, according to the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC).

One of them will become the first Arab astronaut to travel to the International Space Station (ISS) on September 25, 2019 for an eight-day Russian space mission to ISS aboard a Soyuz-MS 15 spacecraft and will travel back aboard a Soyuz-MS 12. The second astronaut will continue training for future missions.

The date of the flight was postponed from April to September 2019 following a launch accident of the Soyuz-MS 10 spacecraft in October.

Read: Watch: UAE astronauts get winter survival training in Russia ahead of space visit

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