December 2017: The hunt for the UAE’s first Emirati astronaut was announced by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

March 31, 2018: Applications closed with 4,022 candidates. This was trimmed down to 95 who made it for the medical assessments. This was further cut down to nine candidates.

September 3, 2018: Hazzaa Al Mansoori and Sultan Al Neyadi began training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre (GCTC) in Russia

February 25, 2019: Hazzaa Al Mansoori and Sultan Al Neyadi were presented to the public for the first time as the two finalists for the UAE Astronaut Corps.

April 12, 2019: Hazzaa was announced as the Prime Astronaut, while Sultan was the back-up astronaut.

May 5, 2019: The two Emirati astronauts were measured for their custom seats for the Soyuz MS-15 journey to the International Space Station.

August 29 and 30: Hazzaa and Sultan complete their final qualifying exams at GCTC.

September 10: Hazzaa and Sultan travel to Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

September 25: Hazzaa is blasted off to space onboard the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft with Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka and Nasa astronaut Jessica Meir.

September 26 to October 2: Hazzaa conducts science experiments in space, on fluid dynamics, cardiovector, time perception, osteology; holds almost daily radio and video sessions with students, officials in UAE.

October 3: Hazzaa returns to Earth with Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and Nasa astronaut Nick Hague.

October 12: Hazzaa returns home.

— Gulf News Archives