‘Emirati youth will aim for the stars, like Hazzaa’ - GulfToday

‘Emirati youth will aim for the stars, like Hazzaa’

Astronauts

‘Everyone in the UAE will have eyes on this inspirational journey.’ WAM

Henry Jacob

As the deadline for the takeoff of the space mission to the International Space Mission draws near, the palpable excitement is rapidly going north. One can imagine the frenetic activity that must be under way: the last-minute checks, the guidelines to follow, the things to be taken care of, to carry, payload, etc. It is probably ticking off the must-haves before embarking on a journey, except that it is not any other journey. It is a watershed moment, a high point of achievement, a major laurel not only for the nation but also for the astronaut concerned, Hazzaa Al Mansoori.

Emirati student Essa Al Suwaidi says, “I think the space mission that Hazzaa Al Mansoori will be taking part in is a very important and proud moment for us as a nation. I also think that this is a very huge achievement, both for the astronaut and for the country. I hope this achievement would act as an incentive to encourage more Emirati youth to chase their dreams. I hope that the Emirati youth would aim for the stars, just like Hazzaa did!”

Ahmed Al Ansari, Far Eastern Private School founder, remarks, “The UAE continues to raise the bar for its citizens and residents. The country is making a remarkable effort towards its space mission. September 25, 2019 will be another iconic day in the lives of Emiratis and UAE residents.

“The leaders’ aspirations of the UAE are headed in the right direction forward. At this point, one can only expect the UAE to have greater space research and innovation, and may even discover groundbreaking information during this mission. We wish astronauts Hazzaa Al Mansouri and Sultan Al Neyadi all the best and a safe journey.”

“Everyone in the UAE will have eyes on this inspirational journey,” says Brian Forrest, an Irish expatriate in Abu Dhabi. “It shows the UAE has a commitment to space exploration. The more countries that have a view of our fragile planet from space the better. It points towards a better future for us all.”

For Lyle Ham, Filipino, Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding-IT and Creative Department head, astronomy has been his passion since he was a kid. “My mom bought me a set of astronomy books. I also queued in lines for the books because the Internet was not yet invented in those years.

“ The UAE being my second home, I am extremely happy for the historic Sept.25 for this country and the Emiratis. Not only will the physical book of the Holy Qu’ran would be taken out to outer space, the farthest distance a man would bring it, it is also a proof that what other nations can do, the UAE and the Emiratis can also achieve by their own right and convictions. They are not only into modernising the world. They are also bringing the heavens and the earth into one.”

However, Al Mansoori did not become the first Emirati astronaut by sheer coincidence. According to the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, Al Mansoori, born in 1983, is a distinguished fighter pilot. A graduate of Khalifa Bin Zayed Air College, he became one of the top pilots of F-16 fighter jets, having taken part in many military exercises including the ‘Red Flag’ in the USA. He also took part in jet shows – on the UAE National Day 2017 and the 50th anniversary of the UAE Air Force.

Jennifer Gonzales, United International Private School- Dubai Community Relations manager, is full of expectations: “It is a thrilling moment that the UAE will launch and send its astronauts into space on an exploratory mission. Students who love Science and Astronomy will be inspired by this endeavour. I wish all the very best for Hazzaa Al Mansouri and Sultan Al Neyadi. I am.praying for their safe journey. Cheers to the United Arab Emirates!”

Interestingly, school and university students, and the public, will get the chance to attend live video and radio sessions with Hazzaa Al Mansoori.

The sessions will feature a live broadcast on Wednesday, Sept.25, for takeoff from 4.30pm. The first live sessions with Hazzaa AlMansoori will be on Friday 27 September, where attendees can see him live from ISS in a video call. The event will commence at 12.30pm.