Emirati astronauts Mohammad AlMulla and Nora AlMatrooshi, from the second batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme, have begun their training with NASA’s Astronaut Candidate Class of 2021 at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, USA.
Over the next two years of the programme, AlMulla and AlMatrooshi will train in five major categories: operating and maintaining the International Space Station’s complex systems, training for spacewalks, developing complex robotics skills, safely operating a T-38 training jet, and Russian language skills. Once qualified, the astronauts could be assigned to missions that involve performing research aboard the International Space Station or undertake space missions, among others.
The astronauts had undergone in-house training at MBRSC in the UAE, which included swimming, scuba diving, survival exercise, stamina improvement, aircraft flying classes and Russian language training before heading to Houston.
The UAE Astronaut Programme is one of the projects managed by the UAE’s National Space Programme and funded by the ICT Fund of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), which aims to support research and development in the ICT sector in the UAE and promote the country’s integration on the global stage.