First UAE astronaut waiting to see his 4 kids before blast off

Sarwat Nasir
Filed on September 2, 2019 | Last updated on September 2, 2019 at 07.51 am

The next step for Al Mansoori is to hold a press conference along with his crew and take part in the farewell ceremony on September 10.

While most UAE parents are posting live photos of their kids' first day back to school, UAE's first Emirati astronaut Hazza Al Mansoori is miles away from his four children, waiting to see them before he blasts off to the International Space Station (ISS). The only opportunity they have to meet is either during a farewell ceremony in Russia or from a distance after he goes into a mandatory quarantine in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

Al Mansoori is still in Star City, Russia, where he's just passed his final exam, which was carried out to determine whether he is ready for the eight-day journey to the ISS and if he is qualified to travel in Russia's Soyuz spacecraft.

The next step for Al Mansoori is to hold a press conference along with his crew and take part in the farewell ceremony on September 10 - a routine that has been followed in Russia since 1961 when the first man was sent into space.

Khaleej Times is on ground in Moscow and following Al Mansoori's activities in Russia before he travels to Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Al Mansoori will launch into space at exactly 5.56pm (UAE time) from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on September 25.

During his mock test flight, he and his crew - American flight engineer Jessica Meir and Russian Commander Oleg Skripockha - were required to show they possessed the necessary skills to pilot the Soyuz spacecraft - currently the only spacecraft that can take humans to the ISS.

"On August 29, both crews successfully passed the first examination day. The prime crew was the first to take the training. Traditionally, the crew answered the questions of the media concerning the differences in training processes in the spacecraft simulator and in the station simulator, noting that the spacecraft offers a more dynamic training, while at the station the crew has more time to make a decision," an official from Roscosmos, the Russian Space Agency, said.

Both of the crews showed skill in knowing what to do in case of emergencies on the Soyuz, including how to deal with fires and what to do in case of a gas or chemical leak.

Al Mansoori and Sultan Al Neyadi, the back-up astronaut, have been training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre (GCTC) for over a year now.

The training they have completed, especially being prepared for emergency situations, is extremely vital.It's unclear whether Al Mansoori's wife and four kids will be by his side before his farewell from Star City. Once he arrives in Baikonur, he and his crew will be kept in quarantine to ensure no harmful bacteria infects them.

As KT reported previously, the last time he will see his family before the historic launch will be through a glass wall.

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