Hazzaa AlMansoori became the first astronaut to go into space
The UAE has achieved a major milestone on September 25 as the first Emirati astronaut Hazzaa AlMansoori lifted off to space en route to the International Space Station on the Soyuz MS-12 mission, S61 Expedition. The historic event was followed with great interest in the UAE – watched all over the country by residents and royals.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, watched AlMansoori’s spacecraft take off – from Baikonur Cosmodrome’s Gagarin LaunchPad – on his mobile as he took a cycling break in Dubai.
The Ruler, who launched the UAE Astronaut Programme over two years ago with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, can be seen saying ‘Bismillah’ (In the Name of Allah) in a clip as he watched the Soyuz lift off with the country’s first astronaut.
The clip, chronicling AlMansoori’s preparation in Kazakhstan to his lift-off, was shared by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, on social media. The brief video shows a side-by-side view of the Ruler watching the take-off with joy and pride.
At the time of filing this report, the video – captioned ‘Zayed’s dream comes true’ – had garnered 65,000 views on Twitter and over 438,000 views on Instagram.
AlMansoori, the father of four and a former military fighter jet pilot, rocketed off at exactly 5.57 pm (UAE time) and docked with the ISS late Wednesday night. He will return to Earth next week.