UAE astronaut Nora Al Matrooshi during Wilderness Survival Training at Ft. Rucker, Alabama in USA Image Credit: MBRSC

Dubai: As part of NASA’s 2021 astronaut candidate class training programme, Emirati astronauts Nora Al Matrooshi and Mohammad Al Mulla recently completed a series of rigorous training exercises in the USA.

A video and photos showing highlights of their training regimen was shared by NASA, documenting the duo’s resilience as they undertook various challenges, from survival training at Alabama’s Fort Novosel to mastering the art of suiting up at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory.

Nora and Al Mulla, who are part of the second batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme, were selected in the 2021 class of astronaut candidates alongside 10 of their NASA classmates. The 10 candidates were carefully selected from a pool of over 12,000 applicants from across the USA for the NASA astronaut corps and are currently undergoing candidacy program training at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. They are set to graduate in early 2024 as flight-eligible astronauts.

Mohammed Al Mullah, UAE astronaut
UAE astronaut Mohammed Al Mulla during Wilderness Survival Training at Ft. Rucker, Alabama in USA Image Credit: MBRSC

The Emirati astronauts had also recently visited the Marshall Space Flight Center. During the visit, they had the opportunity to meet with the Center’s leadership and learn more about the missions, programs, and projects at Marshall. They also went to the V20 Thermal Vacuum Chamber, which is currently being used to simulate lunar environments and plume surface interaction for landing scenario planning for the Moon.

The UAE Astronaut Programme is one of the projects managed by MBRSC under the UAE’s National Space Programme and funded by the ICT Fund of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), which aims to support research and development in the ICT sector in the UAE and promote the country’s integration on the global stage.