Published: 2017-10-03 13:24
Last Updated: 2017-10-03 13:56
A manned spaceflight program has been approved by the UAE, where the training of the first Emirati astronauts should begin next year, according to The National.
Putting a UAE astronaut in orbit is "not for prestige," Assistant Director General at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, Salem Humaid Al Marri said.
It is a part of a “sustainable human spaceflight programme with a serious purpose," he added.
The process of seeking applications for astronaut training will begin by the end of this year, or the first quarter of 2018, Al Marri said.
A final selection of four to six astronauts would be made after 8 months of the applications' submissions.
“When we talk about sustainable, that means that we are not looking at launching an astronaut for a week or launching a tourist flight, but we’re looking at a programme that is based on science," he said.
UAE intends to have the first UAE astronaut in space by 2021.
Mars Science City, the latest project to be announced by the UAE, is a project that will simulate what will be needed for human colonisation of the planet .
The UAE leadership has also set the goal of building a city on Mars by 2117, The National reported.