A delegation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) comprising representatives of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center and nine contenders for a flight to the International Space Station (ISS) has arrived in Russia, the State Space Corporation Roscosmos said on Tuesday.
Medical tests will help choose two candidates from the UAE for the flight to the space station, Roscosmos said.
"The contenders’ medical selection will last three weeks. Following the results of the medical examination, two candidates will be selected. The training of a UAE cosmonaut and his substitute for a flight to the International Space Station will begin in August 2018," Roscosmos said in a statement.
The flight of the first UAE cosmonaut to the world’s sole orbiter is scheduled for April 2019. It will last about a week. The UAE cosmonaut will travel to the orbital outpost aboard a Soyuz MS-12 manned spacecraft. He is expected to get back to Earth together with the crew of a Soyuz MS-10 space vehicle.
A preliminary agreement between Roscosmos and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center on the provision of services for a flight to the ISS was signed in late June, TASS reports. It was noted at the time that the UAE representative would spend 10 days in outer space. The first team of UAE cosmonauts is expected to comprise four-eight persons.