Emirati Astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri Puts the United Arab Emirates on the (Space) Map

September 25th was indeed a momentous day for the UAE with the first Emirati Astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri ascending to space, joined by Russian commander Oleg Skripochka and NASA astronaut Jessica Meir onboard the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The journey was part the UAE’s National Space Programme developed by Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, with the ultimate goal of reaching Mars by 2021 and eventually build the first settlement in the red planet by 2117. 

So let’s break down the historic events that followed Hazza’s trip to space:

The Mission
The main purpose of the trip was to prepare astronaut corps to be sent to space for scientific missions by doing a series of experiments including studying the autonomic regulation of cardiovascular system, central hemodynamics, and influence of space flight factors on the spatial distribution of the energy of heart contractions.
Credits: Emirates 24/7
Hello From Space
Hazza used the power of social media to share his journey through a series of live feeds from takeoff to landing, twitter posts, and demonstrations to students as seen below (for educational purposes).

He documented his experience aboard the ISS which is a floating laboratory orbiting the earth at a speed of 17,000 miles/hour. The UAE had the privilege to watch Hazza as he conducts his research from over 400km altitude.

Credits: Gulf News
Making History
1985 was the year when Saudi Arabia's Sultan bin Salman Al-Saud flew on a US shuttle mission, followed by Syrian air force pilot Muhammed Faris aboard the Soviet Union’s Mir space station in 1987. The 31 year drought was broken by Almansoori, making him the 3rd Arab national to fly off to space this 2019.
Hazza has since landed safely back to earth last October 3rd bringing home much pride to country and the region. This proud moment is only the start as the UAE prepares to pursue its first mission to Mars through ‘Hope’, an unmanned probe that will explore the environment from the ground. The success of this feat will mean that before 2120, us earthlings can finally book our (space) flights to the red planet.
Exciting times ahead indeed!

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