Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 29 January 2020

'What a fantastic view!' Hazza's astronaut crew mate shares stunning Abu Dhabi space image

Jessica Meir - who is still on ISS orbiting Earth - snapped a picture of the capital from 400km up

Jessica Meir snapped this image of Abu Dhabi from the International Space Station - 400km above Earth. Mussaffah and Khalifa City can be seen in the lower left and the green lights of Riyadh City on the upper right. Jessica Meir / Nasa
Jessica Meir snapped this image of Abu Dhabi from the International Space Station - 400km above Earth. Mussaffah and Khalifa City can be seen in the lower left and the green lights of Riyadh City on the upper right. Jessica Meir / Nasa

Nasa astronaut Jessica Meir snapped this stunning picture of Abu Dhabi by night and sent a message to former crew mate Hazza Al Mansouri from 400km above Earth.

The American passed over the capital on board the International Space Station and posted the image at 3.40am on Friday.

Ms Meir and Maj Al Mansouri blasted off from Kazakhstan in September alongside mission commander Oleg Skripochka.

The Emirati spent eight days on board before returning to Earth with another crew, while Ms Meir will stay on until spring 2020.

"The very first astronaut from the United Arab Emirates launched to space this year – in the same rocket as me!" she wrote on Twitter.

"Thinking about my new colleagues and friends (@astro_hazzaa & @Astro_Alneyadi) made my view even more spectacular. Goodnight Abu Dhabi!"

Maj Al Mansouri thanked for her the message from space.

"What a fantastic view you have, my friend, I was honoured to work with you inboard the space station. Good night from the Earth."

During his eight days on board he hosted live Q&As for thousands of UAE school pupils and conducted experiments they sent up with him.

Maj Al Mansouri, a fighter pilot who flew the F-16 Block 60 for the UAE Air Force, recently spoke of coming to term with his new hero status.

“The first time I went to mosque, after returning, I met a couple of kids who asked me about the space mission,” he said at an event in Dubai.

“The next day I went back and was shocked by the crowds of children there waiting for me and I spent an hour explaining it all to them.”

A recent trip to Masdar Park, Abu Dhabi, with his family soon led to a crowd converging on its new hero.

“Some of the kids there recognised me and I spent two hours answering all their questions,” he said.

“My wife joked ‘that’s it, we’re not going out anymore’.”

This month, the search for the next class of astronauts was launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

Almost 1,000 applications were made in the first four hours.

Updated: December 15, 2019 11:00 AM

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