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Hazzaa from space: Hello to all in the UAE

Sarwat Nasir/Baikonur
Filed on September 27, 2019 | Last updated on September 27, 2019 at 10.28 am
Hazzaa, Hazza, space, UAE astronaut, soyuz, international space station

The team did their first video conference call shortly after with the UAE, Russian and American space officials, as well as their families.

The UAE's first astronaut Hazzaa AlMansoori has already spent a day inside the International Space Station (ISS) and is ready for live video broadcasts meant for educational purposes, with the first one taking place today at 2.30pm.

AlMansoori is making headlines worldwide as he became the first Emirati in space and the first Arab on the International Space Station (ISS) on September 25. There are scenes of his arrival to the ISS that are going viral, including an audio of him speaking to a UAE official from the spacecraft, a video of him entering the hatch to enter the ISS and footage of his first video conference call with space officials and family members.

"We have reached safely, thanks to Allah. Sending my hello to all my people in the UAE," AlMansoori, a former military fighter jet pilot, said to the ground control in Baikonur and Houston from inside the Soyuz spacecraft after docking with the ISS.

At 1.10am (UAE time), he and his crew entered the station and greeted the six other astronauts and cosmonauts onboard with smiles and hugs.

The team did their first video conference call shortly after with the UAE, Russian and American space officials, as well as their families.

Dr Ahmad Al Falasi, Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, was the first one to communicate with him while the crew was still in the Soyuz spacecraft. "Congratulations on the successful docking. We wish you success for this mission. Good luck."

Moments later, AlMansoori's voice emerged from the mic: "We are grateful that we reached the ISS, Alhumdulillah (praise be to Allah) that everything is going good. I am so happy to hear your voices. I wish I could have shared what I was seeing with you - it's a beautiful scenery of sunsets and sunrises of the earth. I say hello to our leaders, our people and all of the Arabs."

A few minutes later, he had a conference call with his two brothers, Mohammed and Salem.
It was the first time in history that Arabic transmissions from the ISS were sent down to Earth.

In the eight days he'll be spending on the ISS, the world is watching him while he appears in live streams from onboard the station and communicates with Emirati youth, does a live tour of the ISS in Arabic, shows the world how he'll do the prayer in space, what he'll be eating and also answering questions from youngsters.

AlMansoori's schedule is jam-packed for the next week, which include scientific experiments, technical work, mechanical work around the ISS and doing live-streams.

sarwat@khaleejtimes.com


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