Dubai: A crewmate of UAE’s first astronaut Hazzaa Al Mansoori posted a picture of Abu Dhabi from space on Twitter on Friday, to the delight of Al Mansoori and other followers.
Nasa astronaut Jessica Meir took the picture of the UAE capital at night from the International Space Station (ISS) while orbiting the Earth some 400-km up. Meir and Al Mansoori were among three astronauts who went up to ISS in September from Kazakhstan.
Al Mansoori returned to Earth eight days later after successfully performing experiments while Meir will continue her mission into 2020.
At 3.40am on Friday, she posted the picture saying: “The very first astronaut from the United Arab Emirates launched to space this year – in the same rocket as me! Thinking about my new colleagues and friends (@astro_hazzaa & @Astro_Alneyadi) made my view even more spectacular. Goodnight Abu Dhabi!”
Sultan Al Neyadi had been selected in the first UAE astronaut programme as the back up astronaut for the ISS mission.
Replying to Meir’s post, Al Mansoori said: “What a fantastic view you have, my friend @Astro_Jessica, I was honored to work with you inboard the @Space_Station... Good night from the Earth.”
Who is Meir?
Meir is an American astronaut who recently, on October 18, performed a spacewalk outside ISS with her colleague, Nasa astronaut Christina Koch – making history as the first all-female spacewalk.
Since Meir also has Swedish citizenship, she is the first Swedish woman in space, and the second Swedish person to reach space.
Al Mansoori, a fighter pilot, was given a hero’s welcome to the UAE after his return to Earth from ISS in October. In his first public address at a press conference in Dubai in November, Al Mansoori said he was told he would be going to space multiple times when he had signed up for the programme.
Recently, on December 6, it was announced that the UAE Astronaut Programme was accepting applications for the second manned space mission, details of which have not been revealed yet.