Egypt to organise public competition to select first Astronaut into space
London, Dec. 27, 2019 (AltAfrica)-The first Egyptian Astronaut will emerge through a public competition after the Egyptian Space Agency (ESA) says it plans to launch a competition in January 2020 that will see the selection of the country’s first astronaut.
The head of ESA, Mohamad El-Qousy made this known in Cairo 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 would be 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.
Recently, Egyptian Space Agency announced a partnership with six other African countries to launch a pan-African satellite project dubbed the African Development Satellite Initiative (AfDev-Sat )
With the motto “Made in Africa for Africa”, the goal of the initiative is to create a sustainable collaboration platform within African countries in the field of space technology and applications
AfDev-Sat was first announced by Egypt’s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Dr Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, at the Africa Space Forum on the sidelines of the seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) held in Yokohama, Japan on 28 August 2019.
The project was initiated in the light of the integration of African countries in the field of space – with Egypt set to host the African Space Agency having won the bid in February 2019. Egypt is also readying its space capability to serve as a regional space power in the Middle East and Africa.
Egypt 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