Emirates Post, in cooperation with Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, MBRSC, has issued a series of commemorative stamps to celebrate the UAE Astronaut Programme, which will take the first Emirati astronaut Hazza Al Mansoori to the International Space Station, ISS, on 25th September.
The series of stamps are launched 55 years after the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum issued a stamp to commemorate the American astronauts’ first trip to outer space, under the theme ‘Honouring Astronauts’.
Comprising six designs, the special-edition stamps feature images of UAE astronauts Hazza Al Mansoori and Sultan Al Neyadi, the Soyuz MS spacecraft, the International Space Station, as well as the logo for 25th September mission 'Zayed’s Ambition', which features an outline of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s image.
Commenting on the announcement, Abdulla M. Alashram, Acting Group CEO of Emirates Post Group, said, "In 1964, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum issued a stamp celebrating astronauts and space sciences, which demonstrates the nation’s foresight and vision. It is incredible that, in 55 years, this ambition has now been turned into a reality and the UAE is getting closer to achieving its goal of becoming a leader in the space industry."
He went on to say that the UAE space mission will mark an important milestone in the country's expanding space industry and inspire a new generation by showing them that anything is possible. "We are extremely proud of Hazza Al Mansoori and Sultan Al Neyadi, who represent the pinnacle of the UAE’s ambitions."
"We are also honoured to partner with MBRSC and issue a series of commemorative stamps to celebrate this momentous occasion and highlight the UAE’s role in space exploration. On behalf of Emirates Post, I would like to wish both astronauts every success on this historic journey," Alashram added.
The mission is part of the UAE Astronaut Programme, which is overseen by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre. The UAE Astronaut Programme is the first integrated programme in the Arab region to prepare national cadres to participate in human space flights and carry out various scientific missions. The programme is part of the research carried out by the global scientific community to devise solutions to many challenges facing humanity.
The UAE Astronaut Programme is funded by the ICT Fund of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. Launched in 2007, the Fund -- the first of its kind in the Arab world -- aims to support research and development within the UAE's ICT sector.
Emirates Post is issuing 150,000 commemorative stamps, which are available at Emirates Post Central Happiness Centres from 25th September. The local postal services provider is also issuing 1,000 first day covers (souvenir sheets).