The only company to have sent tourists to space signs Adnan Al Maimani to be the first from the United Arab Emirates to experience suborbital spaceflight

Vienna, Virginia, USA  — March 27, 2006 – Space Adventures, Ltd., the world’s leading space experiences company, announced today that Adnan Al Maimani will be the first national from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to launch from the future commercial spaceport to be located at the Ras Al-Khaimah International Airport. 

The company, which organized orbital flights for all of the world’s private space explorers, announced last month plans to locate a spaceport in the UAE that will be funded by various parties, along with shared investments by Space Adventures and the government of Ras Al-Khaimah.  Also, His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, along with the UAE Department of Civilian Aviation, have granted clearance to operate suborbital spaceflights in their air space.

“Since we made the initial announcement last month of our partnership with His Highness Sheikh Saud and the development of a spaceport in Ras Al-Khaimah, we have received thousands of inquires from individuals in the Gulf region, specifically the UAE, who are interested in commercial spaceflight and want to fly,” said Eric Anderson, president and CEO of Space Adventures.  “Mr. Al Maimani has a pioneering spirit and we are enthusiastic that he will be the first from the UAE to fly to space and that his historic flight will launch from his home country.”

“I am honored to represent the UAE as the first national to fly to space, but even more thrilling is that I’ll launch from Ras Al-Khaimah,” said Adnan Al Maimani.  “I have been interested in space exploration as long as I can remember.  Space Adventures is providing the opportunity to experience what I never thought could be possible in my lifetime.  If I could fly today, I would!”

The suborbital space transportation system has been designed by Myasishchev Design Bureau, a leading Russian aerospace organization which has developed a wide-array of high performance aircraft and space systems.  Explorer, as it has been named, will have the capacity to transport up to five people to space and is designed to optimize the customer experience of space travel, while maintaining the highest degree of safety.  The system consists of a flight-operational carrier aircraft, the M-55X, and a rocket spacecraft. The vehicle is designed to optimize the customer experience of space travel.

Space Adventures, the only company to have successfully launched private explorers to space, is headquartered in Vienna, Va. with offices in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Moscow and Tokyo. It offers a variety of programs such as the availability today for orbital spaceflight missions to the International Space Station, commercial missions around the moon, Zero-Gravity and MiG flights, cosmonaut training, spaceflight qualification programs and reservations on future suborbital spacecrafts. The company’s advisory board comprises Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, shuttle astronauts Kathy Thornton, Robert (Hoot) Gibson, Charles Walker, Norm Thagard, Sam Durrance, Byron Lichtenberg, Pierre Thuot and Skylab astronaut Owen Garriott. For more information, please visit