World’s first Emirati astronaut is now undergoing advanced training
- It’s just under 100 days now till Hazza Al Mansouri becomes the first Emirati astronaut in space
- The young Emirati has been extensively training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Russia’s Star City
- The Soyuz MS-15 launch is on September 25 and will see two other astronauts join Mansouri, an American and a Russian
Hazza Al Mansouri is about to become the first Emirati astronaut to reach space and board the International Space Station. Sultan Al Neyadi, another Emirati astronaut makes up part of the backup crew.
The presence of the UAE is about to get a whole lot bigger as Mansouri makes history for the Emirates. He will make up part of a team for the launch of Soyuz MS-15 on September 15, a team which also includes US astronaut Jessica Meir and Roscosmos commander Oleg Skripochka from Russia.
Mansouri, along with fellow Emirati Sultan Al Neyadi have said to reach advanced training stages at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Centre in Russia’s Star City. Mansouri is now training alongside his crew, as revealed by Meir in a Tweet below:
Our #Soyuz 61S crew is finally training together @gctc_ru, and our launch is < 4 mths away! Honored to be flying with experienced @roscosmos #cosmonaut #OlegSkripochka and the very first @uaespaceagency #astronaut @astro_hazzaa #HazzaaAliAlMansoori - a truly international crew! pic.twitter.com/CShpQ34EBk— Jessica Meir (@Astro_Jessica) 1 June 2019
The training now is comprised of riding a massive centrifuge to stimulate the g-forces of lift off and the forces of landing. It also includes learning how to survive in a water environment, as well as learning about emergency evacuation of the ISS.
Looked to #YuriGagarin this week for inspiration during my first ride in the @gctc_official centrifuge. This training familiarizes us with the launch and landing profile of the #Soyuz, max ~ 3.5 g during launch and ~4.5 g during landing. Check out my Insta story for more detail! pic.twitter.com/U53q8tMsXu— Jessica Meir (@Astro_Jessica) 22 May 2019
“Youth in the UAE and the entire Arab region are looking forward to this historical event,” said Yousuf Al Shaibani, director general of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre of the September launch. “We strive to see the UAE Astronaut Programme achieve its objective of preparing generations of Emiratis who will contribute to enhancing the country's position in space science and research to serve the ambitious aspirations aimed at building a national knowledge-based economy."
It is explained that both Mansouri and Neyadi have trained for a slew of medical tests, as well as gaining aptitude in the Russian language. Not only that but they have also been trained to fend for themselves if the return goes off course and they land in the wilderness of Russia!
"We are training for take-off, arriving at the ISS and returning from ISS and how to deal with emergencies,” Mansouri said in a video message last month.
Mansouri’s eight-day mission will have him giving a tour of the ISS for Arabic viewers back on Earth, as well as carrying out 15 experiments asked of him by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre’s Science in Space schools competition.
According to the Russian news agency Sputnik, Mansouri will be provided with a menu of Emirati delicacies including the chicken stew salona, madrouba, and balaleet. Of course the food will be space-ified to work at eating in zero gravity.
Mansouri’s mission is not the end of it though, backup astronaut Neyadi has been promised a seat on a future mission. Not to mention developments for the UAE National Space Programme going on right now.
The back-up crew: Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, Russian flight commander of Roscosmos Sergei Nikolaevich, and American Nasa astronaut Thomas Henry.
Mansouri though is set to return home (and by home we mean Earth) on October 3.