It has been three years since UAE witnessed the historical moment when Hazza Al Mansoori became the first Emirati to blast off into space.
Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre tweeted a video to mark the occasion:
Reminiscing about monumental stride taken by Hazza, astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi says, “On this day three years ago, Hazza Al Mansoori launched to space while all our hearts followed him to the launchpad.”
Al Neyadi was a backup crew member when Hazza Al Mansoori scripted history becoming the first Arab on the International Space Station (ISS). In 2023, he will go into space for a new mission.
In the same video Hazza Al Mansoori tells us more about the new mission. “In a few months in 2023, Sultan will take on the first Arab long duration astronaut mission. [He] will launch to space and I will be a backup crew member.”
Last month, images released by Nasa had shown former IT professional Al Neyadi in a SpaceX astronaut suit inside a Crew Dragon capsule. This will be the UAE’s second mission to the space station and the Arab world’s first long-duration space mission.
Abu Dhabi-born Al Mansoori graduated in 2004 from Khalifa bin Zayed Air College and was a major in the United Arab Emirates Air Force before becoming an astronaut. He was selected by Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre and underwent training at Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center.
Meanwhile UAE's second batch of astronauts are undergoing training at the Johnson Space Centre in Houston, USA. Astronauts Mohammad AlMulla and Nora AlMatrooshi will train in five major categories including training for spacewalks, developing complex robotics skills over the next two years of the programme.
The first female Arab astronaut, 28-year-old Al Matrooshi is a mechanical engineer from the United Arab Emirates University who always had a passion for space from a young age. She aspires to develop the space sector in the UAE further and ultimately land on the moon onboard an Emirati spacecraft.
34-year-old Al Mulla was the youngest pilot in Dubai Police to have ever obtained a commercial pilot license. He is also a holder of a flight instructor license from the Australian Civil Aviation Authority.
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