Hazza Al Mansouri becomes first person to wear kandura in space
Hazzaa Al Mansouri, the UAE’s first astronaut and the first Arab aboard the International Space Station (ISS), is in space for more reasons than just improving the nation’s footing in space exploration. Being the first Emirati on the station, he’s also sharing a lot of the UAE's culture with his fellow ISS residents.
When Al Mansouri isn’t conducting experiments, hosting Q&As and livestreams, or praying in microgravity, he is teaching other astronauts the heritage and culture of the Emiratis. As part of a cultural exchange endeavour, Al Mansouri slipped out of his usual clothing and into something a bit more traditional, a kandura.
Donning the kandura, Al Mansouri, formerly a fighter pilot, also sported a hamdaniya wrap. Back down on Earth, this is often seen as a more casual Emirati dress, worn outside of work and in more relaxed settings. It is thought Al Mansouri opted for this traditional garment over the more commonly seen ghutrah wrap with an agal as the microgravity environment would’ve had the wrap float around more.
Photos released by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) show the proud Emirati along with his eight crew members. As part of Al Mansouri’s eight-day stay in space, he has been keen to celebrate the UAE.
He has hung a UAE flag in the station, shared photos of the UAE taken from space, held various Q&A’s with students in the country, and now he has gone down a more traditional path.
Besides wearing the clothing, Al Mansouri will soon host an Emirati food evening, sharing with everyone food hailing from the UAE and Middle East. These dishes include madrooba, saloona, and balaleet.
Al Mansouri has also recently shared photos of himself performing experiments tasked to him by MBRSC, as part of his study into the perception of time in space, he was tasked with estimated the length of a minute on the ISS while being blindfolded. Other experiments include the changes to the body in microgravity and plant growth in space.
Highlights: Emirati astronaut Hazzaa AlMansoori carrying out an experiment to study time perception in microgravity.#MBRSC #MBRSpaceCentre #HazzaaAlMansoori #FirstEmiratiAstronaut #UAEInSpace #Space #UAE @astro_hazzaa pic.twitter.com/2t6eb1aOVK— MBR Space Centre (@MBRSpaceCentre) 1 de outubro de 2019
Setting off on September 25 on the Soyuz MS-15, Al Mansouri will touch down back on Earth on October 3.