Emirati astronaut to answer residents’ calls from ISS - GulfToday

Emirati astronaut to answer residents’ calls from ISS


The Emirati astronauts planted a tree at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The tradition goes back to 1961, when Yuri Gagarin, the first astronaut to go to space, planted a tree before his mission.

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.

Hazzaa Al Mansoori, the first Emirati astronaut slated to travel to the International Space Station (ISS) on Sept.25, and Sultan Al Neyadi, the back-up astronaut for the same mission, have already completed their final tests for the mission at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, in Star City, in Moscow. According to a Twitter message posted by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, Hazzaa Al Mansoori will also reply to people’s questions using the hashtag #AskHazzaa, and if your question is selected, Astronaut #HazzaaAlMansoori will answer it live from the #InternationalSpaceStation on Sept.27. 

Earlier, the National Geographic, in partnership with Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), declared on Wednesday the release of the first long film documenting the UAE’s extraordinary journey into space.

The brand-new documentary, which is the first of a 4-part film series, premiered on Sept.19 ahead of the historic International Space Station (ISS) Mission take-off, with Hazzaa Al Mansoori as the first Emirati and only Arab aboard with the Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi who will be present at the launch, acting as reserve astronaut for the entire Mission.

The film was scheduled to be aired for the first time on Sept.19, 8pm, UAE time and will be repeated on 22 at 10pm and 23 at 8pm.

It is accompanied by short vignettes with exclusive coverage on the astronauts’ final preparations for their upcoming Mission. With the imminent space mission launch, the vignettes spotlight Al Mansoori and Al Neyadi’s intensive training with prime and backup flight crews in Russia, after completing training with the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA.

It highlights the life of both astronauts and their dreams and aspirations. It also follows the stages of their journey to the ISS and their daily life on it.

A father of four, graduate of Khalifa Bin Zayed Air College, Al Mansoori joined MBRSC as an astronaut following a career as military pilot. He hopes to inspire the nation by hoisting the UAE flag inside the ISS on September 25.

“It will be a great honour to be the first Emirati astronaut to reach the ISS,” he said.

Al Mansoori’s dreams of space exploration started when he was still young.

“I remember when I was in grade four, I read in my school book about an Arab astronaut, Prince Sultan Bin Salman Al Saud, and I thought that is it. I believed it is possible for me too. That is the reason why I applied to join the air force, it felt a little bit closer to the stars,” he says.

The mission of the Emirati astronaut, Hazzaa Al Mansoori, to the International Space Station has not only been grabbing headlines but also eliciting comments from the diplomatic community stationed here.

An earlier report mentions Madyar Menelikov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the UAE, as saying, “The upcoming mission of the Emirati astronaut, Hazzaa Al Mansoori, to the International Space Station reflects the UAE’s overall progress.”

He also expressed his pride at the launch of the mission from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

In an interview with the Emirates News Agency, WAM, Menelikov noted that the historic launch will be attended by senior officials from Kazakhstan.

“We would like to congratulate the UAE’s leadership, government and people on the occasion of this historic mission to the International Space Station,” he said, while noting the mutual cooperation between the two countries in the space sector and their future collaboration with Russia.

Emirati astronaut Hazzaa Al Mansoori will be the first to conduct an introductory tour in Arabic at the International Space Station, ISS. He will enter space onboard the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft from the Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on 25th September as part of his eight-day space tour.

Following more than 1,400 hours of training and 90 courses within a year, Al Mansoori will carry out 16 scientific experiments in cooperation with international space agencies, making the UAE the 19th country to get a foothold on the ISS and contribute to scientific research.

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