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Dubai: The search is on for the UAE’s first astronauts.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Wednesday called on young Emirati men and women to register for the Emirates programme to become UAE’s first batch of astronauts.

“On this day, a new chapter in our history begins with the launch of the first UAE Astronaut Programme, dedicated to sending four Emirati Astronauts into space. The people of the UAE will break new barriers; nothing can stand in the way of those who believe nothing is impossible,” Shaikh Mohammad said in a tweet.

“Our ambitious goals are fuelled by dedicated people, who support us until, without hesitation or skepticism, we succeed. I invite young Emiratis to register for the UAE Astronaut Programme through the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre.”

Shaikh Mohammad said the most competitive applicants will be selected to be ambassadors for the UAE in space exploration. However, every single Emirati will contribute in his or her own way to the future of the UAE, whether it’s on land, or in the skies.

Shaikh Mohammad in April said the UAE plans to send its first Emirati astronaut to space over the next few years. The most qualified Emirati candidates will be chosen and trained over the next five years. Following this, they will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) to carry out vital experiments and work that will contribute to the scientific community’s understanding of human space flight to meet future challenges, such as a manned mission to Mars.

Any Emirati 18 years and above may take their first step towards space by completing the online application form and submitting the required additional information and supporting documents to the UAE Astronaut programme at the MBRSC.

In 2018, as part of the selection process, applicants will be forwarded for basic medical and psychometric examinations then to detailed and advanced psychometric examinations. After this, they will then go through an interview process to determine their suitability to fly to space.

Those who pass the screening process will be selected as part of the Astronaut Corp in 2019.

The search is right in time as the UAE will launch the first unmanned Arab probe to Mars in July 2020. The orbiter, called ‘Amal’ or Hope, is expected to arrive at Mars by 2021 in time for the UAE’S 50th founding anniversary. 

To join, visit: https://mbrsc.ae/astronauts/en/joinprogram


  1. Nationality: Emirati
  2. Minimum Age: 18+
  3. Language: Proficiency in Arabic and English
  4. Education: University Graduate (Bachelor’s or Higher)


Astronauts should be fit and in good health to ensure they are able to fly to space. They should also be team players and should be capable of carrying out missions and experiments required while they are the UAE’s representative in space.


  1. Personal Photo
  2. Passport Copy
  3. Family Book Copy
  4. Emirates ID Copy
  5. Birth Certificate
  6. Academic Certificates
  7. Curriculum Vitae
  8. Language proficiency Certificates (TOEFL/IELTS), If available.