United Arab Emirates to establish human spaceflight program

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“This is an initiative from the UAE government to have a sustainable human spaceflight program,” said Salem Humaid Al Marri, assistant director general at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre. “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 program that is based on science.”

The first of those astronauts would fly by the end of 2021, the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UAE. “We have not decided on who will be flying us yet,” he said. “We do envisage that we partner up with all of the major space agencies, somehow and in some structure.”

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He said he expected research conducted there would stimulate follow-on experiments that could be carried out by UAE astronauts on their flights. “We have a long-term strategy of getting to Mars by 2117, so our astronauts will be working on science that is related to long-term habitation of space,” he said. “We look at that as a natural next step in the progression of testing some of our experiments and ideas in the International Space Station (ISS) and the space environment.”

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Source Credit: Space News
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