The newly upgraded Egyptian Space Agency plans to launch a competition in January 2020 that will see the selection of the country’s first astronaut.
The statement was made yesterday by the head of the agency, Mohamad El-Qousy, during a visit by a delegation of Egyptian MPs from parliament’s Education and Scientific Research committee to the agency’s headquarters in the New Administrative Capital.
According to El-Qousy, the six years program will run in two stages. The first stage will include the required psychological, physical and mental tests, while the second will feature pieces of training on living inside the International Space Station.
Furthermore, he said the agency hopes to select candidates based on specific global standards.
On the requirements and participation, the agency head said the competition is open to both young men and women with the relevant qualifications. However, only two people will be selected, one of whom will fly into space.
The dates of the mission are still undisclosed.
The Egyptian Space Agency
The Egyptian Space Agency is charged with the mandate to harness Egypt’s capacity in space science and technology. The agency will see to it that the country fully realise the commercial and social benefits of space. One of its priorities is to have an astronaut in space by 2025.
Egypt has the highest number of launched satellites in Africa. Its newest satellite, TibaSat-1, a communication satellite, was launched in November onboard Ariane 5 rocket owned by French space launch company, Arianespace.
Ogechi Onuoha is a Cambridge Certified ESOL editor with a background in reporting, international relations, creative writing and adept in industry research and analysis. She is passionate about curating and evaluating the benefits/relevance of space to grassroots development and women’s participation in the space sector.