On the sidelines of the final stage of interviews for the second batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme, delegates from the US Embassy, including Thomas Ulrich Brechbhul, Counselor of the U.S. Department of State and John Rakolta Jr., U.S. Ambassador to the UAE and Commissioner General of the U.S. pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai visited the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in Dubai.
The delegates met with H.E. Yousuf Hamad AlShaibani, Director General of MBRSC and Salem AlMarri, Assistant Director-General for Scientific and Technical Affairs and Head of the UAE Astronaut Programme, MBRSC, to discuss collaborations and opportunities to strengthen further the ties for the space sector between the US and the UAE. They also met with the panel conducting the final interviews, comprising of specialists from MBRSC, including Emirati astronauts Hazzaa AlMansoori and Sultan AlNeyadi and NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Jessica Meir.
MBRSC had recently signed a strategic agreement with NASA to train Emirati astronauts at the US's Johnson Space Center. The two astronauts selected for the UAE Astronaut Programme's second batch will join the 2021 NASA Astronaut Candidate Class. They will receive the training that the US space agency’s astronauts undergo. The training programme will prepare Emirati astronauts physically and psychologically for future space missions.
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