Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 1 June 2020

Hazza Al Mansouri swaps space suit for UAE national dress

Emirati astronaut becomes the first to wear national dress in the International Space Station

Hazza Al Mansouri wears an Emirati kandura on board the International Space Station. Courtesy Dubai Media Office
Hazza Al Mansouri wears an Emirati kandura on board the International Space Station. Courtesy Dubai Media Office

Hazza Al Mansouri has made himself feel at home aboard the International Space Station by swapping a space suit with an Emirati kandura.

The UAE's first astronaut donned traditional Emirati clothes on Tuesday to share some of his country's culture with the eight other astronauts on board the station.

Maj Al Mansouri opted for a hamdaniya - a more casual head wrap - over a ghutra and igal, likely to avoid any of his garments from floating away in the station's microgravity environment.

Pictured beaming beside his fellow astronauts, images of Maj Al Mansouri were shared by Dubai Media Office on Twitter.

During his eight-day mission, Maj Al Mansouri will host a traditional food night for his crew mates, offering canned and liquefied versions of the nation's best-loved dishes.

On the menu will be halal dishes including salona, madrouba and balaleet - prepackaged by the Space Food Laboratory.

On Tuesday, Maj Al Mansouri conducted a series of experiments to test reactions to stimuli in microgravity and the effects of space on the perception of time.

Floating in a room with his eyes covered, he had to estimate the length of a minute.

The 34-year-old — a former F-16 Block 60 fighter pilot — will return to Earth, landing at one of three sites in Kazakhstan about 4pm UAE time on Thursday.

Updated: October 2, 2019 02:18 PM

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