Emirati astronauts enter isolation period ahead of first space mission

Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has told Emirati astronauts Hazza Al Mansoori and Sultan Al Neyadi that they have brought “great pride” to the leadership and people of the UAE.

He telephoned the astronauts as they enter a 15-day isolation phase in preparation for the launch to the International Space Station on September 25.

The isolation stage is an important step to ensure the success of a space mission where it aims to maintain the safety of astronauts within a clean environment to avoid any diseases, state news agency WAM reported on Tuesday.

During the call, Sheikh Hamdan said: “This historic voyage to the International Space Station will open the way for a new scientific revolution in the Arab world.”

Sheikh Hamdan thanked the astronauts and support teams for their dedication and commitment.

The Emirati astronauts bid farewell to the Russian capital Moscow on Tuesday for the city of Baikonur in Kazakhstan after completing training at the Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Centre in Russia.

Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, chairman of Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), said: “We are truly proud of what we achieved. Today, Hazza Al Mansoori and Sultan Al Neyadi carry the ambitions of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and renew their pledge to our wise leadership, to raise the UAE’s flag in space. I’d like to thank them for making us proud, and wish them all the best.”

Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, director-general of MBRSC, added: “We are witnessing a historic event that reflects the UAE’s determination to engage the global scientific community in enriching humanity with new results from scientific experiments, which contribute to the improvement of human life.”

“After the successful completion of training and tests in Moscow, we are fully confident and prepared to travel for our first mission to the ISS.”

Al Mansoori will conduct 16 scientific experiments in cooperation with international space agencies, while in space.

Al Mansoori will take the UAE flag made of 100 percent silk, a photo of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan with a delegation of Apollo astronauts, a copy of the Holy Quran, My Story by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and MBRSC’s book The Race to Space.

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