UAE's first astronauts enter training ahead of historic space journey
Hazza Al Mansouri, 34, and Sultan Saif Al Neyadi, 37, are taking part in exercises in Russia ahead of trip to International Space Station
The UAE's first astronauts are preparing for a history-making journey to the International Space Station.
Hazza Al Mansouri, 34, and Sultan Al Neyadi, 37, have entered the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, north east of Moscow.
While there, they will undergo a rigorous training programme to prepare them for a voyage aboard a Soyuz rocket to the ISS in April.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, shared the first picture of the pair taking part in training exercises.
He hailed them for helping the Emirates become a global player in the international space community.
"We are very proud of you and the good efforts of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre to raise the name of the UAE and this time a new Emirati achievement will be recorded in space," Sheikh Hamdan said.
Relaxed and happily posing for the picture, the Emiratis looked ready and equipped to embrace the challenge. Both have strong credentials which helped them see-off stiff competition from thousands of candidates to win their unique place in the UAE's space programme.
One of the two will be chosen to go on the mission in a matter of months.
During their training they will be exposed to high gravitational speeds that will replicate the journey to space.
They will also undergo diving exercises lasting hours to prepare them for working on the ISS's unique environment, and potentially outside in space.
Mr Al Mansouri is no stranger to hurtling at high speeds as he pilots the UAE Air Force's F-16, one of the most advanced fighter jets.
The aviation graduate at Khalifa bin Zayed Aviation College has amassed more than 14 years of high-octane experience.
Mr Al Seyadi also brings plenty of skills to the table, having worked for the UAE military for many years.
He holds a doctorate in information technology, specialising in data leak prevention, from Griffith University in Queensland. He also studied at the University of Brighton in the UK.
According to his biography, Mr Al Seyadi participated in international conferences and his research papers have been published in international journals.
Updated: September 9, 2019 12:54 PM