On Friday, registration opened for Emirati astronauts hoping to take part in the UAE's second mission to space and admissions poured in almost instantaneously. 

Over a thousand people applied in the first four hours after registration opened, according to the director of the UAE Astronaut Program Salem Al Marri. 

The call for applicants invites adult Emiratis who hold higher education degrees and can speak both Arabic and English to register regardless of their professions. 

In a statement from the Dubai Media Office, officials said the second search for an astronaut "marks new phase of the UAE's space exploration journey."

Dubai's Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum joined in the efforts to find a new astronaut, calling on men and women interested in applying for the role to send in their credentials. 

"We're looking for a new Emirati astronaut for the UAE's second space mission... to those among our sons and daughters who see in themselves the energy and determination, register through the Mohammed bin Rashed Space Center," Sheikh Mohammed tweeted.

The royal emphasized that the country's journey to space is still in its early stages. 

With what we've seen already, we can say things are off to an impressive start.

The UAE sent its first ever astronaut to space this year

Back in September, the country's first astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri successfully went on a mission to outer space. After months of preparation and intensive training, the astronaut boarded the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft along with Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka and American astronaut Jessica Meir.

He documented his entire trip on camera and even had a video call with school students and media professionals who contacted him from the ground station at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai. 

While in space, Al Mansouri carried out 15 scientific experiments and captured mesmerizing images. He also dressed up in traditional attire (kandoora) and hosted an Emirati food night on board the spaceship. Throughout his journey, the astronaut sustained himself on a halal menu made up of canned and liquified versions of the UAE's most popular dishes. 

Upon his return to earth, Al Mansouri was hailed as a national hero and has since received an honorary doctorate degree from the Abu Dhabi-based Khalifa University. 

The UAE has long been aiming for space

It comes as no surprise that the UAE is moving forward with its second space mission as the country is quite ambitious when it comes to outer universe projects. 

In 2014, the Gulf nation officially established a Space Agency and set an ambitious goal of launching a probe to Mars.

Two years later, the UAE and NASA signed a deal to work together to reach the Red Planet. Not having enough of Mars, the country set up the Emirates Mars Mission in 2016, which plans to send an unmanned spacecraft to explore the planet in 2020. The journey is expected to take seven months. 

One year later, the UAE announced its plans to build the first city on Mars ... in about 100 years. The Mars 2117 project is part of a 100-year national program that focuses on spearheading scientific breakthroughs like the renowned Mars Mission.