Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre announces final candidates for UAE Astronaut Programme

Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre announces final candidates for UAE Astronaut Programme

DUBAI, Jul 4 2018 (WAM)

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre has announced that 18 candidates are currently undergoing the final stage of the interviews leading up to choosing the first Emirati astronaut corps of the UAE Astronaut Programme, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to train and prepare the first Emirati astronaut corps to be sent to space for various scientific missions The final 18 out of 39 candidates previously passed the initial interviewing process which was conducted by qualified specialists from MBRSC.

The process included extensive tests to measure intelligence, neurocognitive ability, personality, aptitude, among others. Following these tests, one-to-one interviews were conducted where the candidates’ personalities were evaluated in various mental and psychological aspects to ensure that they are able to endure the harsh and unusual conditions in space.

The UAE Astronaut Programme is preparing the first Emirati and Arab astronaut to join astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS).

Two astronauts from the Emirati corps will be trained in Russia, one primary and one backup. One of them will be joining a crew of Russian commander and an American astronaut in Soyuz MS-12 spaceflight which is planned to launch to ISS in April 2019. The others will receive extensive training for future long duration space missions.

Yousuf Al Shaibani, director general of the MBRSC, said: “The UAE Astronaut Programme strives to support the national policy in the field of space, and support the vision of our wise leadership to build a national team of Emiratis who will be fully trained and prepared to achieve the UAE’s ambitions in this field, as per global standards.

“This will enable the UAE to become a hub for the region’s space sector, it will inspire next generations in the UAE and the region to become innovators in different fields including space science and technology.”

He added: “We have reached an important stage in the journey of selecting the first Emirati astronaut corps who will participate in scientific missions in space.”

“The 18 candidates will undergo the final assessment stage, by a committee of highly capable experts from the MBRSC, in addition to international experts from international space agencies,” added Salem Al Marri, Assistant Director-General for Scientific and Technical Affairs and Director of UAE Astronaut Programme at MBRSC.


WAM/Tariq alfaham/Hassan Bashir

Arab Group at Human Rights Council says international community came long way in combating racism

Arab Group at HRC says international Community came long way in combating racism

GENEVA, Jul 4 2018 (WAM)

The international community has come a long way in combating racism, discrimination, xenophobia, extremism and religious intolerance, according to the Arab Group at the Human Rights Council.

This came in a speech delivered today by Obaid Salem Saeed Al Za’abi, UAE Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, on behalf of the Arab Group before a general debate held as part of the 38th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC), affiliated with the UN.

The UAE is currently the chair of the Council of Heads of Arab Permanent Missions to the United Nations in Geneva.

The debate tackled racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

The Arab Group noted that the international community had come a long way in combatting racism and expressed concern about emerging forms of racism and xenophobia, including acts that targeted migrants and refugees.

The Group also indicated that some states were engaging in systematic acts of racism and discrimination against others, particularly against the Arabs, Muslims and people of African descent, adding that sometime, such acts take an institutional form.

It regretted that such practices still persist in some states, despite the fact that the migrants have contributed positively to host countries.

The Group stressed that all forms of racism must be criminalised, while all forms of exclusion must be rejected, while promoting the culture of tolerance and acceptance of others.

WAM/Hassan Bashir