2 years ago on this day: UAE's Hazza Al Mansouri blazed off to space Filed on September 26, 2021


The first Emirati astronauts Sultan Al Neyadi and Hazza Al Mansouri train at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre. Photo: Twitter

Al Mansouri is first Emirati in space and first Arab on the International Space Station

Two years ago, on this day, Hazza Al Mansouri commenced an epic mission by blazing off to space.

Al Mansouri made headlines worldwide, as he became the first Emirati in space and the first Arab on the International Space Station (ISS) on September 25, 2019.

“We have reached safely, thanks to Allah. Sending my hello to all my people in the UAE,” AlMansoori, a former military fighter jet pilot, had told ground control in Baikonur and Houston from inside the Soyuz spacecraft after docking with the ISS.

Reminiscing about his spatial journey, his back-up astronaut, Sultan Al Neyadi tweeted about the historic day.

“Two years ago those two amazing people launched into space to make history. Along with Russian cosmonaut Skripochka, astro Hazzaa reached space to be the first Emirati and Arab to work onboard ISS.”

In the same flight was US astronaut Jessica Meir who made history in 2019 as part of the first all-female spacewalk. On October 18, 2019, Meir with fellow astronaut Christina Koch stepped outside of the ISS to complete repairs in the first all-female spacewalk.

She tweeted today, “Two years ago today these very #RSCEnergia @roscomos rocket engines brough my lifelong goal to fruition, carrying #Oleg Skripochka @astro_Hazzaa and me to @Space_Station. Thank you to the mentors, colleagues, friends and family that paved the way! “

The first Emirati in space, Al Mansouri, will reunite with the crew from Expedition 61 (his historic flight) at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) at Dubai World Trade Centre, held from October 25 to 29.

Nandini Sircar

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