ABU DHABI, 4th September, 2018 (WAM) — The announcement on the selection of first two Emirati astronauts, Hazza Ali Abdan Al Mansouri and Sultan Saif Hamad Al Neyadi, who will travel to the International Space Station, marks an extraordinarily proud moment for the nation as well as the entire Arab world, a UAE daily has commented.
“A gargantuan mission calls for a superlative vision. The UAE is blessed with a leadership that believes the journey of development will always remain a race for excellence,” said The Gulf Today in an editorial on Tuesday.
Reaching the final stage among 4,022 applicants, by completing six phases of medical, psychological and advanced tests and a series of interviews, in cooperation with NASA, as well as advanced medical tests by the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, is no easy task and Al Mansouri and Al Niyadi deserve huge praise for their determination and success.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has rightly stated that Hazza and Sultan represent a new stage for the UAE youth and raise the aspirations of new generations after them.
As he mentioned, “We have the only Mars probe programme in the region; our satellite industry has realised its full potential; we have UAE astronauts; we have a space industry worth AED20 billion, and we have aspirations without limits. When given the opportunity, Arabs can reach for the stars.”
The space sector has become integral to many aspects of life from telecommunications to broadcasting and monitoring of weather and natural disasters.
Dr. Mohamed Al Junaibi, Executive Director Space Sector at UAE Space Agency, recently outlined that the UAE is home to several pioneering and competitive institutions in the field of satellite communications and satellite broadcasting, such as Yahsat and Thuraya, besides four research and development centres specialising in space science and technology.
The country has advanced centres specialising in Earth observation and remote sensing, such as the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre and the Space Reconnaissance Centre.
“The UAE Space Agency surely has many reasons to cheer as it has made several achievements in a short span. The space programme will, without doubt, have a positive effect on the national economy,” noted the editorial comment.
The UAE’s outstanding achievements in the space sector are another unmistakable indication of the fact that the future path of the nation is based on a solid scientific foundation.
“It gives an immensely great feeling to note that Hazza Al Mansouri and Sultan Al Niadi will soon raise the UAE flag amongst the stars,” added the Sharjah-based daily.