Astronaut Haza Al-Mansouri Becomes the First Emirati to Go to Space
Today, the United Arab Emirates sends its first ever astronaut to space. After years of mental and physical preparation, Astronaut Haza Al-Mansouri, originally an F-16 pilot, is now ready to undergo the daunting challenge, carrying a nation’s pride on his shoulders.
Just an hour ago, the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, carrying the UAE’s own Al-Mansouri along with fellow astronauts, Russian Commander Oleg Skripochka and NASA’s Jessica Meir.
The rocket attached to the spacecraft is currently traveling at the speed of 25,000 kilometers per hour towards the International Space Station (ISS), where Al-Mansouri will be stationed for the upcoming eight days.
In a tweet, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed Al-Maktoum, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said: “Hazza Al Mansouri’s arrival in space is a message for all Arab youths: that we can move forward and advance and catch up with the rest.Our next stop is Mars by means of the Hope Probe, designed and built by our young people.”
While, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, made sure to show his support for his fellow countryman by watching the launch live at the Mohammed bin Rashed Space Center.
Hazza Al-Mansouri is the third Arab to reach space after Saudi’s Sultan bin Salman Al-Saud, who was the first ever Arab to reach space, while the second one was Syrian Astronaut Mohammed Faris.