The UAE will send its first astronaut into space later this year

Lift off! The United Arab Emirates will send its first astronaut into space for an eight-day mission later this year

  • The United Arab Emirates will send an astronaut into space for the first time
  • An astronaut will visit the International Space Station in September this year
  • The oil-rich state plans to send four astronauts to the space station by 2022

The United Arab Emirates will put its first astronaut into space later this year.

The oil-rich state has two male astronauts in training, selected from more than 4,000 applicants, as it looks to get an ambitious space programme aimed at exploring Mars off the ground.

A decision on which of the two astronauts will take off on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft for September’s eight-day mission to the international space station will be made in May.

Emirati astronauts Sultan al-Neyadi, left, and Hazza al-Mansoori, right, are pictured in Dubai. The oil-rich state has two male astronauts in training, selected from more than 4,000 applicants

‘Our flag will go, our dreams, our passion [for] this country,’ said Hazza al-Mansouri, one of the candidates. 

The UAE plans to send four astronauts to the space station by 2022.

The first Arab in outer space was Saudi Arabia’s Sultan bin Salman in 1985.

Emirati astronaut Sultan al-Neyadi, right, and astronaut Hazza al-Mansoori, second from right, are pictured at a press conference yesterday. A decision on which of the two astronauts will take off on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft for September’s eight-day mission to the international space station will be made in May 

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