Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 18 September 2019

Emirati astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri shares video with fans

The fighter pilot is training in Russia's Star City ahead of his September mission to ISS

Hazza is learning how to dock the Soyuz craft with ISS and to handle potential emergencies in space. 
Hazza is learning how to dock the Soyuz craft with ISS and to handle potential emergencies in space. 

An Emirati astronaut and his crewmates are being put through training to handle emergencies ahead of their planned mission the International Space Station this year.

Hazza Al Mansouri shared an update with his followers on Twitter from Star City outside Moscow.

The 35-year-old – an F-16 Block 60 fighter pilot – has spent much of this year in Russia undergoing space training and ground survival techniques.

He has had to learn proficient Russian too for the Soyuz mission – a task previous astronauts have struggled with.

“We have begun our training for the historic journey on Sept 25," he said in Arabic.

"We are training for take-off, arriving at the ISS and returning from ISS and how to deal with emergencies. Wish us well!”

Maj Al Mansouri will blast off for an eight-day space mission to ISS aboard Soyuz-MS 15 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

He will serve as flight engineer alongside Nasa astronaut Jessica Meir, under Roscosmos commander Oleg Skripochka, a veteran cosmonaut who has been to ISS twice before and spent more than 300 days on board ISS.

Once on ISS, Maj Al Mansouri will present a tour of the station in Arabic for viewers back on Earth. He will also document the daily lives of astronauts at the station. Fifteen experiments put forward by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre's Science in Space school competition will be carried out.

Maj Al Mansouri will return to Earth aboard a Soyuz-MS 12 and land in the wilderness of Kazakhstan in early October.

Updated: September 9, 2019 12:40 PM

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