Being the 40th country in history to send a man to space, United Arab Emirates has sent Hazzaa Ali Almansoori on a mission outside earth. The mission took place on September 25, 2019, with pictures at the International Space Station available at Space.com’s gallery.
Almansoori comes from a military background like many other astronauts internationally. He possesses a bachelor’s degree in aviation from Khalifa bin Zayed Air College where he graduated in 2004. After attaining his degree from the Al Ain based college, he joined the UAE armed forces where he trained as a pilot. He has a vast flying experience which includes flying the F-16 and was one of the duo chosen for the UAE space program among more than 4,000 candidates for the post. Almansoori, though officially trained for two years, said his training for space travel began early in his childhood far back before his selection to join the mission. At a press conference on September 5 held at Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, he said he got vital training from his parents, especially the confidence.
Joining Almansoori in his flight to the International Space station were Russian commander Oleg Skripochka and Jessica Meir from NASA, launching at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard a Soyuz MS-15 rocket. The rocket was launched at the Gagarin’s Start launch pad, the last mission from the launchpad having done several successful missions including Yuri Gagarin’s flight to space. The pad will be upgraded to a newer version to support modern Soyuz spacecraft, Roscosmos officials said, although the official completion time is still unknown.
While on space, he discussed his stay on space in a series of video broadcasts. In one of the videos, he showed how a free-flying Japanese robot operates and how staying in space can be disorienting. All through his stay, he expressed his joy at Twitter, posting photos of him and the other 8 astronauts at the station as well as a bird’s eye view of the earth from space. As part of his mission, he conducted several fluid experiments as well as other investigations and educational content for UAE students.
The Emirati astronaut touched down on earth on October 3 after spending 8 days in space together with Nick Hague from NASA and Aleksey Ovchinin from Roscosmos. In commemoration of his historic flight, the UAE government has released six postage stamps honouring his flight.
This post was originally published on Food and Beverage Herald