Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport to Be Developed for Hypersonic & Space Vehicles

Some interesting news from Dubai.

Al Maktoum Airport is to be reinvented as an aviation hub that can handle supersonic, hypersonic and even space planes in addition to aircraft. Steve Nichols reports.

The announcement, made in June, is part of the Dubai 10X initiative, with Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects working on the project in partnership with Dubai Future Foundation (DFF).

This means DWC is to become a “multi-mode super-port” with the hub set to become the region’s first spaceport, with the surrounding aviation infrastructure being known as a “cosmotropolis”.

It will become the first of its kind in the world to provide an integrated travel outlet for both air and space travel.

9 Candidates Qualify for Final Stage of UAE Astronaut Programme

DUBAI (MBRSC PR) — The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) announced that 9 candidates have qualified for the final evaluation phase of the UAE Astronaut Programme.

The Programme was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, as part of the UAE National Space Programme.

It aims to train and prepare a team of Emiratis to be sent to space for various scientific missions. This supports the intensive preparations to send the first Emirati and Arab astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS) in April 2019.

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First UAE Astronaut to Fly to ISS Next Year

The Soyuz MS-08 rocket is launched with Expedition 55 Soyuz Commander Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos and flight engineers Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel of NASA, Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Artemyev, Arnold, and Feustel will spend the next five months living and working aboard the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

DUBAI (Dubai Media Office PR) — Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that sending the first Emirati astronaut to space will herald the beginning of a new era for the UAE and represents another step towards achieving the country’s vision and aspirations for the space sector.

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Commercial Space Entrepreneurs Look to the East for Funding

WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo: Made in America, financed in the Middle East. (Photo credit: Mark Greenberg)

While Europe lurches from sovereign debt crisis to debt crisis, the United States struggles with a ballooning budget deficit, and investors worldwide pull back on spending, there is one area of the world that still has a mountain of funds to spend. It’s a reality could have a major effect on the path of the nascent commercial spaceflight industry in the years ahead.

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UAE Becomes Center of Middle East’s Space Effort

The seven-state United Arab Emirates is quickly becoming the center of the Middle East’s space effort, with agreements with Virgin Galactic for a suborbital spaceport and Bigelow Aerospace to develop an orbital spaceflight program. In the process, it is riding the crest of a new commercial wave in how human spaceflight will be conducted.

UAE might have the first commercial suborbital spaceport outside of the United States should the American government allows Virgin Galactic to export its WhiteKnightTwo/SpaceShipTwo system.

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Bigelow Signs MOU to Create Human Spaceflight Program for Dubai, UAE

Bigelow Aerospace's planned Sundancer space station

EIAST PRESS RELEASE

The Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) and Bigelow Aerospace LLC, an organisation dedicated to providing affordable options for spaceflight to national space agencies and corporate clients, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to drive joint efforts to usher in a new era in human spaceflight based on innovative technologies, affordability, commercial sustainability, and strong international partnerships.

As per the MoU, EIAST and Bigelow Aerospace will explore joint efforts to establish a next-generation commercial human spaceflight programme for Dubai and the UAE, leveraging recent advances in human spaceflight. They will work to create a world-class microgravity research and development programme with a potential focus on advanced biotechnology applications, and a variety of other commercial space-related activities.

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Binnie Promotes Dubai as Center for Space Tourism

Dubai Seen Ripe for Space Tourism
Xpress

“Speaking at the [Orion] Congress, Brian Binnie, test pilot of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipOne (SS1), the prototype of what is poised to become the first commercial carrier for tourists in the orbit, said: ‘Dubai is perfectly positioned to be at the leading edge of this [space] industry.’”

Dubai Could be Take-off Point for Space Tourism

Khaleej Times

“The cradle of civilisation could form the backdrop to the future of tourism, space tourism, according to astronaut Brian Binnie, as he paints a picture of a potential flight route and the experience, based on his own as test pilot of SpaceShipOne, the prototype to commercial space travel, launched by Virgin Galactic.”

A Corporate Jet? That’s Soooo 2007…

ArabianBusiness.com reports that a Dubai-based company has chartered an entire Virgin Galactic suborbital tourism flight for its top management.

The unnamed company has made a $500,000 deposit on the $1.2 million flight, which will carry six executives to an altitude of about 110 kilometers (69 miles). The flight is expected to take place in 2010. More details will be released in July.