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Arab Space Pioneers programme launched ahead of UAE’s Mars mission

The three-year intensive training programme hopes to incubate young talents and expands their career prospects.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai,  has overseen the launch of the ‘Arab Space Pioneers’ programme that aims to build Arab expertise in space science and technologies.

Overseen by the UAE Space Agency, the programme will equip young Arab researchers, scientists, inventors and creative talents with skills and expertise required to lead a career in the growing space sector.

The three-year intensive training programme hopes to incubate young talents and expands their career prospects in the region’s emerging space technologies.

On his Twitter account, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said: “In the coming days, the UAE will launch the Hope Probe to Mars, the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission. And today, we are launching a programme to invite Arab youth to gain expertise in space technologies in the UAE.” He added, “We strive to prepare the next generation of Arab astronomers and space scientists as part of our wider mission to revive the Arab civilisation’s status in the scientific sphere.”

Candidates with a scientific background can apply on the website Applications will be evaluated based on qualifications and achievements in research and science fields.

The Arab Space Pioneers programme was launched ahead of the UAE’s historic launch of the Hope Probe to Mars, scheduled on July 15, 2020, in the first-ever Arab mission to the Red Planet. The Emirates Mars Mission aims to spark an Arab exploration of outer space, build a space industry in the region and advance regional and national capabilities in this sector.

Participants in the ‘Arab Space Pioneers’ programme will receive a number of benefits including a fully-covered three-year residency in the UAE, specialised training in space science and technology, an opportunity to build advanced satellites in the UAE and access to scholarships and other financial incentives.

The intensive programme combines theoretical and hands-on practical training by enabling participants to contribute to the UAE Space Agency’s present and future projects.

HE Ahmad Belhoul, Chairman of the UAE Space Agency said: “The Arab Space Pioneers programme responds to the rising ambitions and passion of the young Arab generation in advanced sciences and space, and tackles the need to invest in the future economy.”

He added: “Announcing the programme in line with the countdown to the historic launch of the UAE’s Mars Hope Probe sends an inspirational message to young Arab minds and talents across the region that the sky is not the limit to their dreams. The programme enables them to make their dreams a profound reality, presenting the UAE as a live example that embedded the culture of possibilities in its approach and work philosophy.”

HE Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Chairman, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre remarked: “Through the passion and ambition of the UAE’s youth and the visionary policies of the wise leadership of our nation, we have realised the Arab dream of exploring Mars. The announcement by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to launch a programme for Arab youth to join the UAE in training for the space programme and its related technologies is a confirmation of the leadership’s belief in the capabilities of Arabs. The new programme will support young minds and give impetus to investing in advancing scientific and human development.”