Another milestone achieved! The first UAE astronaut will be sent to the ISS in April 2019, as the UAE signs an agreement with the Russian Space Agency. We're now another step closer to creating history! pic.twitter.com/00zaRCCrSQ
— MBR Space Centre (@MBRSpaceCentre) June 20, 2018
The United Arab Emirates is sending its first astronaut into Outer Space – and it'll happen in the next year.
The historic achievement was announced by Dubai Crown Prince, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum, on Twitter, where he revealed the country had signed an agreement via the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center and the Russian Federation. The first manned space mission from the UAE will take place in a Soyuz Spacecraft in April 2019 and comes after a the Unispace+50 conference in Vienna.
Sheikh Hamdan had teased the announcement on Twitter the day before, writing they would be "taking an important step tomorrow towards achieving UAE's top goals in the field of space exploration."
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum also commented on his account, mentioning how it had been a long time in the making. "The UAE today signed a landmark agreement to send the first Emirati astronaut to the International Space Station, " he posted. "We embarked on our vision, to develop the UAE's space sector, twelve years ago. Now it is bearing fruit."
Last September, the UAE revealed plans to build a city which simulates life on Mars, but the latest news is truly out of this world!
— Hamdan bin Mohammed (@HamdanMohammed) June 20, 2018