Mission-ready: UAE astronauts complete NASA training
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Mission-ready: UAE astronauts complete NASA training

Mission-ready: UAE astronauts complete NASA training

The NASA programme further expanded astronauts’ skill set to cover critical areas such as spacewalking, robotics and piloting the T-38 training jet

Gulf Business

UAE’s two newest astronauts Nora AlMatrooshi and Mohammad AlMulla have graduated from NASA, marking another milestone in the country’s buoyant space exploration industry.

Mechanical engineer Al Matrooshi and her colleague Al Mulla along with 10 American astronaut candidates, completed the 2021 NASA Astronaut Candidate Class training programme in a ceremony held at the Johnson Space Centre in Houston, US.

“Nora and Mohammad’s journey from rigorous preparatory training to completing the NASA programme demonstrates their readiness to take part in future missions, significantly contributing to our understanding of space,” said Salem Humaid Al Marri, director-general of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC).

Al Marri said the graduation of Al Matrooshi, the first female Arab astronaut, and colleague Al Mulla, a former Dubai Police helicopter pilot, is a stepping stone towards the UAE’s goal of sustainable space exploration.

Prior to joining the NASA training programme, Al Matrooshi and Al Mulla underwent in-house training at MBRSC.

The duo are the first Arabs to graduate from a NASA class. The programme further expanded their skill set to cover critical areas such as spacewalking, robotics, the systems of the International Space Station, piloting the T-38 training jet and Russian language lessons.

UAE’s space investments

The UAE has achieved continuous accomplishments in the space economy sector, which has enhanced the country’s global competitiveness while contributing to the diversification of its economy.

The country’s investment in the space sector has already surpassed the Dhs22bn mark, encompassing satellite communications systems, earth and space exploration, data transmission services, satellite broadcasting, and mobile satellite communications, among others.

The space economy is a pivotal pillar in the UAE’s ambitious journey towards the next fifty years. The country has emerged as a regional hub for space services, events, and specialised educational programmes in the space domain.

The UAE’s space economy exhibits promising growth prospects, with 57 companies and space entities currently operating. Public and private sector support for the UAE space programme has exceeded $5.4bn.

Read: UAE investments in space sector surpass Dhs22bn

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