In the wake of a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) that was signed between the Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and the European Space Agency (ESA), the two Emirati astronauts will undergo a training module under the ESA. The training will further enable them to be prepared for the space mission that is scheduled for April 5. The signing ceremony was conducted at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2018 being held in Bremen, Germany.
The signing ceremony was conducted in the presence of Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, Director-General of the MBRSC and was signed by Eng Salem Humaid Al Merri, Assistant Director-General for Scientific and Technical Affairs and Head of the UAE Astronaut Programme at MBRSC, and David Parker, Director of Human and Robotic Exploration at ESA.
The agreement between the two agencies forms a part of the broader strategy of the MBRSC to boost its strategic partnerships in a global context. The memorandum also serves the purpose of exploring further avenues in the domains of space science and technology and human spaceflight activities. The two chosen Emirati astronauts Hazza Ali Abdan Khalfan Al Mansouri and Sultan Saif Muftah Hamad Al Niadi, are presently in Russia going through a rigorous phase of training in the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center.