Dubai: UAE leaders have expressed their messages of support to the country’s first astronauts, Hazza Al Mansouri and Sultan Al Neyadi, as the UAE is 15 days away from making history by sending its first astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS).
With just two weeks left before launch, Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince, tweeted that he spoke to Hazza and Sultan to wish them well in their journey.
“In a phone call with Emirati astronauts, Hazza Al Mansoori and Sultan Al Neyadi, ahead of the International Space Station mission, I made sure to tell them they have brought a great deal of pride to the leadership and people of the UAE,” Sheikh Hamdan said in a tweet.
Hazza is poised to embark on his first spaceflight on September 25 along with the rest of the prime crew led by Russian commander Oleg Skripochka and Nasa astronaut Jessica Meir.
The prime crew will be launched to space on a Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Reserve astronaut Sultan will be on standby and ready to step up should the need arise, along with Russian commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Nasa astronaut Thomas Marshburn.
The two-week quarantine for the astronauts was scheduled to begin on Tuesday as the astronauts arrive in Kazakhstan ahead of the September 25 trip.
While in quarantine, the astronauts will be isolated from the outside world, even from their families, to make sure that they are not exposed to any diseases prior to launch.
“A historic journey to space, a new challenge and a fresh frontier—all powered by the will and ambition of the UAE. As the first Emirati astronaut prepares to embark on a journey the world shall witness, we pray for success in serving our dear homeland,” Sheikh Hamdan said.
“We wish you great success. Keep your morale high and embrace the challenge. May Allah bless this landmark mission.”
Earlier on Sunday, Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, also sent his well wishes to the astronauts.
“We wish the two Emirati astronauts success to before they head to Kazakhstan in preparation for the pre-final stage of September 25 journey to the International Space Station. We are very proud of your efforts and we are looking forward to see the UAE’s name flying high in space as we do on Earth,” he said in a tweet.
Hazza Al Mansouri replied. “Thank you, His Highness Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed. What we have achieved today is because of your constant support and encouragement. We promise to bring glory to the UAE in space.”
The astronauts will participate in a flag raising ceremony at the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Thursday and take part in a series of fitness test days before the launch.