H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Al Dhafra Region, has received a delegation from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and Zayed Ambition 2 at Al Nakheel palace, in the presence of Sheikh Yas bin Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, astronaut Dr Sultan bin Saif Al Neyadi, Minister of State for Youth, and Dr Hamdan Musallam Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC).

The meeting was also attended by Ahmed Matar Al Dhaheri, Head of the Office of the Ruler’s Representative in the Al Dhafra Region, Issa Hamad Bushhab, Advisor to the Chairman of the ERC, Emirati astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri, Salem Humaid Al Marri, Director General of the MBRSC, and Adnan Al Rayes, Assistant Director General of the MBRSC for space operations and exploration at the centre, alongside a number of officials from the space centre.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed received a briefing from the delegation about the UAE's upcoming projects in the space sector, the centre's future plans, and the UAE Astronaut Programme, which aims to develop a national team of astronauts who will participate in human space flight missions and other initiatives.

He was further updated on the details of the longest Arab space mission in history, which was undertaken by astronaut Dr Sultan AlNeyadi aboard the International Space Station. The mission not only showcased the UAE’s prowess in the space sector on a global stage but also marked a significant leap forward in space science. It underscores the nation’s commitment to education, fostering international collaborations, and pioneering scientific research, all of which contribute to foster scientific achievements in various fields.

Sheikh Hamdan also reviewed the latest training programmes currently underway in preparation for future space missions, while receiving a general overview of the UAE Astronaut Programme and its future initiatives.

His Highness emphasised that the UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has recorded historic achievements in the field of space exploration. The UAE has established its name regionally and internationally while strengthening its position and role in contributing to humanity's scientific and cultural journey, with the help of national teams of Emirati leaders, engineers, and specialists in the space sector.

Sheikh Hamdan congratulated the MBRSC team for their exemplary dedication and expertise across all operations and responsibilities. He highlighted the capability of the people of the UAE to excel in their roles and affirm the nation's leading position on the global stage.

He praised the team spirit and collaboration, that were instrumental in the completion of the longest Arab space mission in history to the International Space Station. He expressed his best wishes to the team for success in their future endeavours.

Sheikh Hamdan further commended the Zayed Ambition 2 mission team for their remarkable achievement and setting an inspiring precedent for the nation's and the Arab world's youth. He noted that the mission symbolises an encouraging milestone for upcoming generations and marks a significant advancement in the UAE’s quest for space exploration. This quest was initiated by the visionary ambition of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Today, that vision has been transformed into a tangible reality, propelled by the vigour and resolve of the UAE's people. It is realised through the implementation of advanced scientific strategies and programmes, propelling the nation forward in its pursuit of excellence in research, development, and manufacturing within the space sector.

At the end of the meeting, the MBRSC delegation presented H.H. Sheikh Hamdan with a photograph of the Liwa area, captured from the International Space Station by Dr Sultan Al Neyadi during the longest Arab space mission in history along with a photograph of His Highness and H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Ruler of Abu Dhabi, that was taken to the ISS by Hazzaa Al Mansoori during the first Zayed Ambition mission.

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