Hazza Al Mansouri will be the first Emirati in space
The UAE has decided on its first man in space.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) announced on Friday that it had selected Hazzaa Al Mansoori as the primary astronaut for the International Space Station (ISS) mission.
His compatriot Sultan Al Neyadi will be the backup astronaut for the mission.
Both Al Mansoori and Al Neyadi are currently undergoing training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia in preparation for this mission.View image on Twitter
Al Mansoori will fly for an eight-day space mission to ISS aboard a Soyuz-MS 15 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 25 September 2019 and return to Earth aboard a Soyuz-MS 12.
UAE’s mission to put a man in space was announced in 2017 as part of broader plans and programs in the space sector and its aspirations to transform itself into a knowledge-based economy.
Salem Al Marri, Assistant Director-General for Science and Technology Sector and Head of the UAE Astronaut Program, said that both Al Mansoori and Al Neyadi are both undergoing the training to ensure that they are ready to travel to ISS.
“Al Mansoori is undergoing his training with the prime team, while Al Neyadi is undergoing his training with the backup team. Each team consists of three astronauts,” added Al Marri.
Al Marri further said that Al Mansoori would be the first Arab astronaut to travel to the ISS; he will be presenting a tour inside the ISS in Arabic, in which he will explain the components of the station and the equipment on board.
He will also be conducting earth observation and imaging experiences, interacting with ground stations, sharing information, as well as documenting the daily lives of astronauts at the station.
During his stay at ISS, Al Mansoori will undertake a scientific mission to study the impact of microgravity in comparison with that of gravity on Earth.
This mission includes 15 experiments that will be selected based on MBRSC’s ‘Science in Space’ competition, which targets schools in the UAE.
Also, Al Mansoori’s vital indicators will be studied before and after the trip to compare with Earth results—the first time this kind of research will be done on an astronaut from the Arab region.
Al Mansoori is an F-16B60 pilot who graduated from the Khalifa Bin Zayed Air College, which qualified him to become an F-16B60 instructor pilot and a demo pilot, and a SOLO Demonstration pilot.
He was one of the first Arab and Emirati pilots to take part in the Dubai Air Show’s celebrations of the 50th anniversary of UAE Armed Forces.
Al Neyadi holds a Ph.D. in Information Technology (Data Leakage Prevention). He worked as Network Security Engineer for the UAE Armed Forces before joining the UAE Astronaut Program.
Al Mansoori and Al Neyadi were selected from 4,022 applicants to the UAE Astronaut Programme after a series of medical and psychological tests as well as personal interviews.