UAE to send first Emirati into space in a "few years"
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has announced that the nation is set to deploy the first Emirati into space in just a few years.
The exciting news comes after Sheikh Mohammed and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, visited the visited the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre.
The two rulers also launched a satellite manufacturing complex as part of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), a move that is part of the UAE space programme that aims to reach Mars in 2021 and build first settlement on the Red Planet in 2117.
During his visit, Sheikh Mohammed praised the efforts of the young men and women working with the MBRSC.
“We’re so proud to see Emirati youth play a pivotal role in shaping the future of our ambitious nation and exploring new frontiers of knowledge. We plan to send the first Emirati astronaut to the space over the next few years, and starting from today, we are preparing the first Emirati and Arab astronaut to join scientists at the International Space Station.”
He added: “Our national space programme is a solid platform to prepare Emiratis cadres specialised in airspace sciences, and qualify future generations that are able to contribute to humanity knowledge.”
Mars 2117 is another example of Sheikh Mohammed’s vision to show young people that the sky is not the limit, and in this case he’s doing so quite literally.
"There are no limits to the imagination and aspirations of human beings," he tweeted, following the announcement.
“The new project is a seed that we plant today, and we expect future generations to reap the benefits, driven by its passion to learn to unveil a new knowledge…The landing of people on other planets has been a longtime dream for humans. Our aim is that the UAE will spearhead international efforts to make this dream a reality.”