Hazza Al Mansouri inside a Soyuz spacecraft at the Yuri Gagarin training centre. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The UAE’s two astronauts in Russia have been learning to operate the Soyuz spacecraft that will fly one of them into the International Space Station (ISS) in April.

In a tweet by the Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) on Tuesday night, the two astronauts-in-training, Hazza Al Mansouri and Sultan Al Neyadi, were shown inside the Soyuz spacecraft as they figure out the spacecraft controls as part of their training.

The Soyuz MS spacecraft is capable of transporting up to three people and limited cargo to and from the ISS.

Given its limited habitable space — only 10 cubic metres — astronauts must learn how to move and work in a small contained space. They must also learn Russian words for the controls and buttons inside the spacecraft as on the ISS are in Russian.

The April flight to the ISS will be commandeered by a Russian pilot, Oleg Skripochka, accompanied by one astronaut from the US and one of the two UAE astronauts.

The six-hour flight to the ISS will be launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.