Final countdown to enter UAE's astronaut training programme

As March deadline looms, more than 3,000 hopefuls now want to be the first Emirati in space

With less than three weeks to go before the closing date, the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre is reminding Emiratis that this is their last chance to apply for astronaut training.

The space centre has issued a new video that highlights the many career paths that could lead to the UAE’s first astronaut corps.

They include airline pilots, engineers and scientists, with an emphasis that both men and women will be considered.

So far over 3,000 Emiratis have applied, with the closing date now set for the end of this month.

Applicants must be over 18, have a university degree and be proficient in both Arabic and English.

The oldest applicant to date is 67, and a quarter of the applicants are women. One in five is a pilot, and 60 per cent have a qualification in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

The aim is to create an astronaut corps of four, who will be trained for missions at the International Space Station.


Read more:

What does it take to get a place on the UAE's first astronaut programme?


Space Centre officials will first screen applicants for a shortlist. They will undergo a more in-depth selection process before the successful candidates are announced at the end of this year.

Full astronaut training will start in 2019 and is expected to last around two years, with the first UAE astronaut heading into space around 2021 – the 50th anniversary of the UAE.