NASA to train four Emirati astronauts in deal with Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center

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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid at MBRSC. (supplied)
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Astronauts Hazzaa AlMansoori and Sultan AlNeyadi are currently taking part in the training. (Supplied)
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Picture showing the Neutral Buoyancy Lab, a training facility and neutral buoyancy pool operated by NASA. (supplied)
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Updated 22 September 2020

NASA to train four Emirati astronauts in deal with Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center

  • Dubai Media Office said the program will prepare Emirati astronauts physically and psychologically
  • The UAE has risen to become a major international space exploration force

DUBAI: Four Emirati astronauts will undergo specialized training at NASA as part of a new agreement with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC).
The strategic agreement announced on Monday aims to prepare the astronauts for advanced space missions.
Astronauts Hazzaa AlMansoori and Sultan AlNeyadi are currently taking part in the training of the 2021 NASA Astronaut Candidate Class. Two more will be selected from the second batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme to join the NASA program.
Dubai Media Office said the program will prepare Emirati astronauts physically and psychologically for future space missions.
The training program will be conducted at NASA's Johnson Space Center, one of the world’s largest centers for spaceflight training, research, and mission control.
The UAE has risen to become a major international space exploration force.
Last year, AlMansoori joined a mission to the International Space Station and in July, the UAE launched a probe to Mars.


Turkey irked over joint declaration by Cyprus, Greece and Egypt

Updated 52 min 17 sec ago

Turkey irked over joint declaration by Cyprus, Greece and Egypt

  • The joint statement also asked Turkey to accept Cyprus’ invitation to enter negotiations for an agreement on maritime delimitations

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday slammed a joint statement by Greece, Cyprus and Egypt that condemns Turkish energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean and numerous “provocations” that they maintain are threatening regional peace.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it “fully rejected the declaration containing baseless accusations and allegations.”
During a trilateral regional summit on Wednesday in Nicosia, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis urged Ankara to end its “aggressive” actions.
The joint statement also asked Turkey to accept Cyprus’ invitation to enter negotiations for an agreement on maritime delimitations. Greece and Cyprus have signed maritime border agreements with Egypt while dismissing a similar deal that Ankara signed with Libya’s Tripoli-based government as “legally invalid.”
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said the declaration attacked Ankara rather than supporting peace and stability in the region. It repeated Turkey’s position that cooperation could only take place with the inclusion of Turkish Cypriots in governing and sharing the resources of the ethnically divided island nation.
“We will continue with determination to protect our rights and the rights of Turkish Cypriots in the eastern Mediterranean,” the ministry statement said.
The trilateral summit took place amid high tensions between nominal NATO allies Greece and Turkey over maritime borders and energy rights.
In late summer, Turkey dispatched a research vessel escorted by warships to conduct seismic research in a part of the Mediterranean Sea that Greece claims as its territory, which prompted the Greek government to deploy its own warships.
Turkey pulled the research ship back to shore for several weeks for maintenance and to allow time for diplomacy but redeployed the Oruc Reis on a new energy exploration mission. A maritime announcement by Turkey says the Oruc Reis and two other ships would continue working in the area until Oct. 27.
Turkey also has had ships prospecting for oil and gas reserves in waters that Cyprus claims as its exclusive economic zone.