Hazzaa AlMansoori, the first Emirati astronaut to travel to the International Space Station (ISS) on September 25, and Sultan AlNeyadi, the back-up astronaut for the same mission, successfully completed their final tests for the mission at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, in Star City, in Moscow.
Each day of the exam started with the astronauts saluting the commanders at the training center and then choosing their tests scenario. All scenarios are in sealed envelopes and astronauts get to pick one before the start of the exam. The tests lasted over 6 hours per day as each crew was examined separately.
The tests included dealing with emergency situations, Simulation of the Russian segment in ISS, the Functional Cargo Block (FGB) mock-up, and Data Management System, as well as the Soyuz Complex simulation.
The final tests included simulating a number of crew emergency situations during take-off, landing, and docking, while on board the ISS, in addition to dealing with the false operation of the landing sensor, propulsion system problems, interruption of contact, and increased CO2 while aboard the Soyuz spacecraft.
In the emergency simulation of the Russian segment in ISS, astronauts successfully passed the test of the failure of communications device, the oxygen supply system, power outages, the failure of fire detection systems, and how to deal with emergency situations.
Yousuf Hamad AlShaibani, Director General of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), said, "We are proud of AlMansoori and AlNeyadi’s success in the final tests, as it confirms that the Emirati people are worthy of the UAE’s wise leadership belief in their ability to succeed in facing challenges in different sectors and disciplines. Our mission is to ensure that the UAE Astronaut Programme is a sustainable one and we aim to train and prepare more Emirati astronauts to contribute to the enrichment of the Arab region, as well as the global scientific community".
"The ISS mission will pave the way for more human spaceflights by the UAE, which will significantly contribute to developing a future map to explore deep space," added AlShaibani.
Salem AlMarri, Assistant Director General for Science and Technology Sector and Head of UAE Astronaut Programme, said, "The tests taken by AlMansoori and AlNeyadi are a culmination of their training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, in Star City, for their mission to travel to the ISS, since the start of the UAE Astronaut Programme".
"These tests have confirmed their readiness for the mission and for emergency situations during the take-off and return trips, and aboard the ISS. The jury members applauded the professionalism, the solid theoretical knowledge, and practical skills, possessed by both the main and the back-up crew of the mission," added AlMarri.
The UAE Astronaut Programme is funded by the ICT fund of the TRA. Launched in 2007, this fund, which is the first of its kind in the Arab world, aims towards supporting research and development within the ICT sector in the UAE, helping it to grow into a nationally significant industry with a leading place in the world.