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Watch: Crucial test for UAE's first Emirati astronaut Hazza Al Mansoori

Update: Prime crew, including Emirati astronaut, receive a perfect score of 5/5

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Moscow: The last day of the final exam has begun for UAE's first Emirati astronaut Hazza Al Mansoori and his crew mates in front of a packed crowd at Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Star City, Russia.

Perfect score for prime UAE space crew

Sources from Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre (GCTC) have revealed to Gulf News that the Prime Crew led by Russian Commander Oleg Skripochka with Nasa astronaut Jessica Meir and Emirati astronaut Hazza Al Mansoori received a perfect score for their Thursday exam on the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS).

"They got 5/5, the highest score. This is not an easy feat," an official told Gulf News.

Result of both days' exams will be released when available, he said.


The exam

The final exam is for the Soyuz and Russian segment qualifications to determine how well the prime and backup astronauts have mastered operating the spacecraft and the Russian Orbital segment of the International Space Station (ISS).

Reserve crew Emirati astronaut Sulat Al Neyadi along with his crew mates Russian commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Nasa astronaut Thomas Marshburn present themselves to the Final Exam Commission before they start their ISS segment qualifications.
Image Credit: Janice Ponce de Leon/Gulf News

This is in preparation for their trip onboard a Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft that will be launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on September 25.

Crucial exam

The exam is crucial as it will determine the crews' spaceflight readiness.


The prime crew calmly entered the examination room led by Russian commander Oleg Skripochka, Nasa astronaut Jessica Meir and the UAE’s first Emirati Astronaut Hazza Al Mansoori.

They will be assessed as they operate the Soyuz simulator, a full mockup of the spacecraft that rocket them to space on September 25. The exam could last until around 6pm (Moscow time) today (Friday).

Russian commander Sergey Ryzhikov led the reserve crew with Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, and Nasa astronaut Thomas Marshburn.

They will be on the ISS mockup and will finish at 5pm.


The prime crew completed the ISS segment exam on Thursday while the backup crew finished the Soyuz exam the same day.

Officials from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) were present to support Hazza during the exams.

Salem Al Merri, Assistant Director-General of MBRSC and head of the UAE Astronaut Programme, said everything is going as planned.

"The crew were in high spirts, working excellent as a unit of three, well trained and prepared for the Soyuz complex exam simulation and for the ISS complex exam simulation," he told Gulf News on Friday.

"All the training and preparation over the past year will support them to successfully go through all the scenarios in the simulations," he added.