Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 17 October 2019

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed wishes UAE astronaut good luck

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi speaks to Hazza Al Mansouri ahead of Wednesday's launch

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed wished the UAE's first astronauts luck as they prepared for their mission, on Monday.

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed forces spoke to Hazza Al Mansouri and Sultan Al Neyadi during a phone call - also attended by Maj Mansouri's brother, Mohammed - and described the two astronauts as shining examples in the nation's development.

"The upcoming trip will make history in the skies of our nation and will cement the UAE's presence in the world of space exploration," Sheikh Mohamed said on Twitter.

"[It will be] a journey that will inspire future generations to achieve new national achievements."

He wished the astronauts well and prayed for Maj Al Mansouri's safe return. The astronaut is due to blast off from Baikonur Cosmodrome on Wednesday at 5.56pm UAE time.

On Monday, Maj Al Mansouri, the UAE's prime astronaut, said it was "an honour" to receive a call from Sheikh Mohamed.

"What we have achieved today would not have been possible without your support and the great attention you give to the UAE's youth," he said.

Dr Al Neyadi, the back-up astronaut, said the call - made just two days before the launch - inspired them to "raise the ceiling of their ambitions".

"[Founding Father Sheikh] Zayed's ambition is being carried out today by Zayed's sons," he said on Twitter.

Updated: September 24, 2019 01:19 PM

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