UAE to launch first astronaut into space in 2019

Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid took to Twitter with the initial announcement that the first astronaut flight to the International Space Station will happen in April 2019. The astronaut is to be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) next year, becoming the latest nation to launch a citizen beyond Earth.
“The UAE signed a historic agreement to send its first Emirati astronaut to the International Space Station in the next few months. The son of the Emirates will bring to fruition the vision which began 12 years ago in developing the national space sector”, said UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Dubai Ruler Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on his twitter account.
A preliminary agreement had been announced from Roscosmos, the state corporation responsible for the space flight and cosmonautics program for the Russian Federation ith the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre to send a UAE astronaut on a 10-day mission to the ISS in April 2019 aboard a Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft. The final agreement for what will be the UAE’s first manned space mission is set to be made by the end of August this year.
The UAE space agency was officially founded in 2014 and has set ambitious targets including an unmanned mission to Mars in 2020 and a colony on the Martian surface by 2117. Also, In September 2017 it unveiled renderings of its Mars Science City project, a simulation center in the desert outside Dubai.
Further in the future is the Emirates Mission to Mars, the first by an Arab country to the planet, which will place a scientific mission in orbit by 2021, the 60th anniversary of the UAE.