Sheikh Hamdan announces that UAE astronauts will graduate from the program in 2024 and will be ready for “pioneering” space missions

Dubai: By 2024, two new UAE astronauts will graduate from the program for future space missions, it was announced today.

The announcement came from Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council and Chairman of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC).

His comments were made during a meeting of the MBRSC board of directors, which he chaired on Monday.

“By 2024, Mohammed Al Mulla and Nora Al Matroushi will embark on pioneering space missions,” Sheikh Hamdan posted on his X account (formerly Twitter).

He also shared updates on a satellite launch and a lunar exploration project.

“The next phase of our journey will see innovative Emirati space companies… Next year, we will launch MBZ-Sat, the Arab world’s most advanced satellite to date. “The Rashid Rover 2 project will continue as long as our determination to explore the Moon persists.”

Sheikh Hamdan said the Center is committed to realizing the UAE’s vision of raising the profile of the Arab region as a leading player in the global space industry by realizing ambitious projects that will bring lasting benefits to humanity.

During the meeting, he was briefed on the Centre’s ambitious missions and future programmes.

“In the next phase of our journey, we are prepared to implement exceptional projects that will open new horizons for space exploration. The rapidly advancing UAE space sector is poised to evolve into a major global contributor in this field, leveraging the rich experience, knowledge and strategic partnerships that we have acquired through unique initiatives and missions,” Sheikh Hamdan said.

“The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center is a critical contributor to the UAE space program and we remain committed to enhancing the nation’s stature as a key player in shaping the future of space exploration in line with the leaders’ vision. Our goal is to discover new data and gain insights and perspectives that will bring benefits not only to our nation but also to the region and the global community.”

He continued: “The United Arab Emirates has set high standards for space excellence and will continue to launch ambitious missions that resonate with our leadership’s vision of advancing our nation’s role as an innovator and pioneer in the region and the world.”

Updates on programs and missions.

During the meeting, Sheikh Hamdan was briefed on the latest achievements of the MBRSC, including the success of the longest Arab space mission, led by UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi and the UAE’s collaboration with international space agencies and leading universities. local and international. The mission included more than 200 experiments that reflected the nation’s commitment to space exploration and science for the benefit of humanity.

UAE Astronaut Program

The meeting also discussed the next steps for the UAE Astronaut Program and the training of astronauts Mohammad Al Mulla and Nora Al Matrooshi, who were selected to train alongside 10 NASA astronauts. Al Mulla and Al Matrooshi will be ready for space missions once they graduate from the program in 2024.


Sheikh Hamdan reviewed the latest satellite construction projects, which aim to design, build and operate advanced Earth surveillance satellites, including MBZ-SAT, which upon launch next year will be the region’s most advanced commercial satellite in the field of high-resolution satellite images.

With 90 percent of its mechanical structure and 50 percent of its electronic modules built locally, MBZ-SAT will be the second satellite built entirely by Emirati engineers, after KhalifaSAT.

Rashid Rover

Sheikh Hamdan was also briefed on the progress of the Rashid Rover 2 project, the UAE’s latest mission to the Moon, which was announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, in April. The mission will build on the achievements of the previous project to design and build the world’s most compact rover, ‘Rashid Rover’, which became the first Emirati and Arab rover to reach lunar orbit before the attempted landing aboard the module HAKUTO-R landing pad from iSpace.

The board meeting also discussed the Satellite Payload Hosting Initiative, a joint effort of the MBRSC and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) to advance capacity building and promote science and technology. space technology in developing countries. The initiative is a valuable opportunity to demonstrate innovation and new technologies.

Sheikh Hamdan reviewed the latest developments related to the ‘Hope Probe’, including its unprecedented achievements that helped uncover secrets of the red planet Mars.

Global platform

Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Chairman of the Board of Directors of MBRSC, said: “Under the supervision of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, we will continue to strengthen the UAE’s role in space exploration. “We will keep pace with the evolution of the space scenario by strategically improving our capabilities and preparing for the future.”

He added: “At MBRSC, we not only aim to foster innovation and talent from the UAE, but also establish a global platform to share knowledge, experience and data to build the future of space.”

Innovation beacon

Salem Humaid Al Marri, Director General of the MBRSC, said: “Under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the MBRSC will continue to act as a beacon of innovation and a key player in building the future of exploration. space.

“We continue to create a collaborative work environment that fosters talent and disruptive thinking. Our goal is to share and increase knowledge by supporting global collaborations to help introduce new, cutting-edge technologies that will improve human knowledge and quality of life.”

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center works with regional companies to create a launch pad for the local space industry. The Center has partnered with local companies to manufacture MBZ-SAT components, including aluminum honeycomb panels.

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