Dubai: The UAE’s first two astronauts received the prestigious NASA pin for completing their general training which has equipped them for long duration work on-board the International Space Station (ISS), it was announced on Sunday.
In a tweet, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) said: “Astronauts Hazzaa Al Mansoori and Sultan Al Neyadi were granted the NASA astronaut’s pin after completing around 20 months of general training at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Hazzaa and Sultan are now ready to work on-board the International Space Station.”
The MBRSC also released the images of the astronauts wearing the prestigious honour.
Al Mansouri and Al Neyadi, the UAE’s first two astronauts, had already completed one year of training and returned to the Nasa centre by the end of last year to continue the programme.
The new training programme has prepared the astronauts for the UAE’s long-duration astronaut mission to the ISS.
The upcoming UAE Astronaut Programme’s mission, which is set to launch in 2023, will make the UAE the first Arab country and the 11th country globally to send an astronaut to the ISS on a long-duration space mission, according to the MBRSC.
On September 25, 2019, Al Mansouri launched aboard the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft to the International Space Station, where he stayed for eight days, making the UAE the 19th country worldwide, and the first country in the Arab region, to travel to the ISS.
The UAE’s latest astronauts Mohammed Al Mulla, a former Dubai Police helicopter pilot, and Nora Al Matrooshi, a mechanical engineer, have already begun their training in January at the Johnson Space Centre.
They are being trained alongside Nasa candidates who will become eligible for various space missions once they graduate.