Emirati astronauts Major Hazza Al Mansouri and Dr Sultan Neyadi have arrived in Houston, Texas to begin an intensive training programme at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre.
The training is a part of the Reimbursable Space Act Agreement signed between the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBSRC) and US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and will prepare the astronauts for future space missions including space walks and long-haul missions.
Under the agreement, the programme will prepare four Emirati astronauts physically and psychologically for space missions in the future.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, tweeted on Monday: “We are pleased to announce the signing of an agreement with @NASA to train UAE astronauts for potential missions to the International Space Station, including space walks and long duration station missions. The program will train our youth and astronauts for future missions.”
His Highness Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre said: “The strategic partnership with NASA, a space pioneer for more than 60 years, supports the strategy of the UAE’s National Space Programme. Emirati astronauts will benefit from NASA’s extensive infrastructure, experience and knowledge in space flight development and operations.”
The training is expected to be completed in two and a half years.