US and UAE hold meeting to enhance space collaboration

A US delegation has met officials of the UAE’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) to discuss the potential for enhanced  space collaboration between the United States and the UAE.

The US team included Thomas Ulrich Brechbhul, Counselor of the US Department of State and John Rakolta Jr., US Ambassador to the UAE and Commissioner General of the US pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The US delegates met with 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.

US and UAE
(L-R) Thomas Ulrich Brechbhul and Yousuf Hamad AlShaibani in discussion. Credit: MBRSC

 

The meeting took place at the MBRSC headquarters in Dubai last December, on the sidelines of the final stage of interviews for the second batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme. 

The US panel also met with the team conducting the final interviews of the UAE Astronaut Programme, including Emirati astronauts Hazzaa AlMansoori and Sultan AlNeyadi, along with NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Jessica Meir.

The MBRSC has a strategic agreement with NASA to train Emirati astronauts at the Johnson Space Centre in the United States.

US and UAE
(L-R) Thomas Ulrich Brechbhul interacts with Emirati astronauts Hazzaa AlMansoori and Sultan AlNeyadi at the MBRSC HQ in Dubai. Credit: MBRSC

 

Two Emirati astronauts selected for the second batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme are due to join the 2021 NASA Astronaut Candidate Class, in which they will receive the same training that NASA astronauts undergo for space missions.

The 2021 NASA Astronaut Candidate Class will prepare the aspiring Emirati astronauts for future space missions involving NASA and other leading global space agencies.

The MBRSC is the nodal agency for the UAE space programme.