Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Yamama Badwan, Staff Reporter
Only two days separate the UAE from recognising what has been once considered as impossible.
On Sept.25, Hazzaa Al Mansoori, the first Emirati and Arab astronaut, will set out on his incredible mission to the International Space Station (ISS) putting the UAE on the first rank in the Arab region and globally the 19th in reaching the ISS.
Hazzaa is scheduled to stay on the ISS for eight days, where he will do 16 scientific experiments. Hazzaa, with Sultan Al Sultan Al Neyadi the assistant Emirati astronaut, spent 12 months training intensively for about 1,400 hours, in the space competent centres around the world. The start was in Yuri Gagarin Centre for Space astronauts training in the Star City in Moscow, where they learnt the Russian language, which was considered a must to ensure the success of training on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, taking off and landing.
Later the two astronauts received training in Germany and the United States of America, on various laboratories of the International Space Station and on its scientific missions.
The Star City in Russia was the last spot the two astronauts received their last training and from there they set out directly to Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. In Baikonour, they will be quarantined for two weeks before their mission to the ISS starts.
Congratulating Hazzaa and Sultan on choosing them to the amazing mission on September, 3rd 2018, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said, “Hazzaa and Sultan symbolise a new stage for the United Arab Emirates young people. They raise the ceiling of the aspirations of the new coming generations. Our dreams embrace space, Our young people raise our head to the sky, Our future is based on a solid scientific basis.”
Sheikh Mohammed added, “Today, we have the only programme in the region to launch to launch a probe to Mars. We also have a 100 per cent ability to manufacture satellites. We have Emirati astronauts and a Space sector with investments of up to Dhs20 billion. Most important of all is that we have the human being whose aspirations are unlimited. In brief, the Arab person can do every thing in case the circumstances are available. The United Arab emirates flies high in the space and our youth represent all the Arab youth.”
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces said Hazzaa and Neyadi’s achievement and their desire to present a special national addition reflects the aspirations of the UAE youth and their determination to assume the highest ranks in various fields.”
The UAE’s first astronaut, Hazzaa Al Mansoori, documented his training at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, through a 60-second video, which he posted as a story on his personal Instagram account.
Emirati astronaut Hazzaa Al Mansoori will be ready to take calls from the public. He also planted the first Emirati astronaut tree, named ‘Zayed Tree,’ as a tribute to his soul and gratitude for his legacy in Baikonur at the cosmonaut grove, as per a tweet he posted on Thursday.
With just a few days left before the much-anticipated launch of the multinational mission to ISS, Emirati astronauts Hazzaa Al Mansoori and Sultan Al Neyadi are gearing up, in right earnest, for the groundbreaking event.
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