Emirati astronauts in their final preparations for historic mission
UAE astronaut Hazza Al Mansoori tested his Soyuz seat and Sokol suits for the last time ahead of his historic launch to the International Space Station, which is now just four days away. The next time he’ll wear his astronaut suit will be on the lift-off day, September 25.
Khaleej Times got access to the building where the spacecraft is kept and followed the UAE astronauts and their crewmates while they did their tests, toured a space museum and participated in a traditional signing event held by the Russian space agency, Roscosmos.
The primary and back-up crew remain in quarantine and everybody around them are required to wear mouth and hair masks and a lab coat to keep them away from germs and bacteria. Friday was the last day the astronauts made an appearance for the media. The next time will be on September 24 for a brief Press conference from behind a glass wall and then on launch day.
Al Mansoori and his back-up Sultan Al Neyadi toured a museum in Baikonur, where they were shown historic photographs and objects stored from previous missions.
They also took part in the pre-launch tradition of signing the Roscosmos flag, books and a book which all astronauts sign prior to lift-off. They also presented a Roscosmos official with gifts, including a signed copy of The Race to Space book and other souvenirs. He also took the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre logo patch off his blue astronaut jumpsuit and presented it to the official.