Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Space Center presented the shortlist of the first cosmonauts of the country. There are 95 people in the list: 75 of them are men and 20 are women.
These people were selected from 4,022 applicants. The list included citizens from all over the UAE at the age of 23 to 48 years: pilots, military, medical, scientists and engineers, 64 of them are under 35 years old and 31 of them are over 35 years old.
Now the commission has to shorten the list of up to four names. The commission plans to select the final candidates and two reservists by the end of 2018.
“The selected candidates are the future of the UAE, they reflect the desire of the generation to form the glorious heritage of our country,” the commission’s chairman stressed.
It is worth noting that initially the list included more than 200 candidates. Then all applicants had psychometric tests, which took up to six hours. Experts checked IQ of candidates, their emotional stability and their ability to adapt to new conditions. After passing all the tests, the final list was formed.
The finalists of the selection (the lucky four) will undergo an intensive training program, within which they will even have to learn Russian. The first cosmonauts should have a high level of knowledge in the field of robotics, navigation, medical care and resource management.
The formed team will represent the first cosmonauts of the UAE and, probably, in a few years the first cosmonaut from the Emirates will be sent to the International Space Station.
Last month, a new course of the UAE’s space program for students was presented, aimed at increasing the interest of young people in science and motivating them to new discoveries.
A four-year course at the American University in Sharjah will offer practical classes, as well as internships at the Space Agency of the UAE and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center.
The course is also aimed at training the Emirates to the Mission to Mars, planned in 2020.