The hunt is on. And it will add one more strong dimension to the UAE’s ever-growing profile on the global centre stage as a progressive, dynamic, ambitious nation. The UAE’s bid to identity four young Emirati astronauts who will be sent to space as part of the country’s growing space exploration programme segues with its overall strategy to integrate advanced sciences into its national growth matrix.
Along with the many requisites of nation-building through myriad mechanisms of governance, a country also needs to expand its abilities to gain a greater understanding of its cosmic context through an exploration of what lies beyond. This knowledge has, over the decades of space exploration, stood humankind in good stead. However, space exploration is not the privilege of the few in the global fraternity of nations. Every country with the means can undertake this task and benefit from the learning thereof, not only for itself but for all of mankind. Hence, in pursuing its own space ambitions so vigorously, and with such clarity despite its youthful age as a nation, the UAE is aligning its priorities with commendable foresight.
Empowering future generations has become a particularly urgent task, given how new technologies and new discoveries, including of space, are recontextualising mankind’s evolutionary pace and potential. Every exploration has contributed to this understanding and rendered invaluable help and now, the UAE too will lend a hand. In training and equipping young Emiratis to be astronauts to take up their place on the International Space Station and carry out vital experiments to share with other astronauts, the UAE is ensuring that the protean promise of space will be realised for the benefit of generations to come.