The UAE has launched a program to select four citizens to be astronauts representing the nation in space exploration.

The United Arab Emirates has launched a program to select four citizens to be astronauts representing the UAE in space exploration, Dubai’s ruler has said.

“On this day, a new chapter in our history begins with the launch of the first UAE Astronaut Programme, dedicated to sending four Emirati Astronauts into space,” HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE vice president and ruler of Dubai, said today via his official Twitter account.

“The people of the UAE will break new barriers; nothing can stand in the way of those who believe nothing is impossible,” he added.

The ruler of Dubai also invited young Emiratis to register for the UAE Astronaut Programme through the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre.

The best applicants will then be selected to be astronauts for the UAE.

“However, every single Emirati will contribute in his or her own way to the future of the UAE, whether it’s on land, or in the skies,” Sheikh Mohammed said in another tweet.

The UAE is expected to launch the first probe of the Emirates Mars Mission in 2020.

In September this year, the country also announced plans to build a $136 million city to simulate the conditions of life on Mars.

The Mars Scientific City will extend across 1.9 million square feet and is aimed at supporting research relating to the country’s Mars mission.

In October, Sheikh Mohammed announced the appointment of 30-year-old Sara Al Amiri, who has been leading the UAE Council of Scientists and the UAE’s Mars Mission science team, as a Minister for Advanced Sciences.

“Our ambitious goals are fuelled by dedicated people, who support us until, without hesitation or skepticism, we succeed,” Sheikh Mohammed said on Twitter.