Dubai: It’s not only Astro Hazzaa that’s winning hearts of millions from the International Space Station (ISS). His adorable and cuddly companion Suhail is too.
Emirati astronaut Hazzaa AlMansoori on Tuesday night snapped Suhail floating by the cupola, the famed dome-shaped observation deck with six glass windows that provide a panoramic view of space and the Earth.
Suhail, the blue and white astro stuffed toy, is the official mascot of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC).
He hitched a ride with Hazzaa on September 25 to join him on his eight-day space expedition.
“Suhail, my friend in this mission aboard the International Space Station,” Hazzaa said as he tweeted Suhail’s photo.
Suhail is the Arabic name for brightest star in the Southern Hemisphere called Canopus. It rises as August ends, officially signaling the end of summer in the Arabian peninsula.
New space era
Suhail symbolises the new season or new space era in the UAE with Hazzaa’s spaceflight as the first Emirati and Arab on the ISS.
It also signals that Mission No. 1 is just the start.
More Emirati astronauts will be sent to space as promised by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
Many Tweeps loved Suhail’s images and responded to Hazzaa’s post.
Rachel Wilding said: “This is just brilliant.”
HIF1alpha added: “Suhail is adorable!”
Miilk-Senpaii agrees with Suhail’s overload of cuteness. “This is so cute OMG!” the avid follower of Hazzaa said.
Suhail is not the only “celestial buddy” in space, however. Earthie, the earth-looking stuffed toy has been photographed many times as well inside the ISS. He arrived at the station in March through the Space X Crew Dragon launch.
Where to get your own cuddly astronaut
You can also share the love and have your own astro stuffed toy Suhail in the UAE. MBRSC is making replicas of Suhail available to everyone at their tent in Khawaneej this week.
They also have other space merchandise including key chains, notebooks, astronaut jumpsuits and jackets and more.