UAE Announces 2 New Astronauts

The Prime Minister, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, announced the selection of two new Emirati astronauts, including the first Arab female astronaut.

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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid wrote on his official page on Twitter: "We announce the first Arab female astronaut, among two new astronauts, selected from over 4,000 candidates to be trained with NASA for future space exploration missions. Congratulations Noura Al Matrooshi and Mohammed Al Mulla."

Al-Matroushi, 28, works as an engineer at the Abu Dhabi-based National Petroleum Construction Co., according to the announcement.  Al-Mulla, 33, serves as a pilot with Dubai police and heads their training division, the government said. The two are set to head to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, for training.

The UAE had announced its space programme that included building a human settlement on Mars by the year 2117. In 2019, Hazzaa Al-Mansoori became the UAE's first astronaut. He spent a week on the International Space Station. In February, the UAE became the first Arab country to launch a successful interplanetary mission with the "Hope" space probe entering Mars' orbit. The mission launched from Japan in July.

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