His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, today phoned Emirati astronauts Hazza AlMansoori and Sultan AlNeyadi, to learn about their final preparations for the September 25th mission to the International Space Station, ISS.
"Your historic expedition to the ISS ushers the United Arab Emirates in a monumental phase within its transformational development drive where the country is making unremitting efforts to achieve quantum leaps in areas of space at the hands of its youth," said H.H. Sheikh Mohamed, expressing confidence in the Emirati people's capabilities to fulfill their responsibilities towards their nation.
He expressed sincere wishes for success to the two astronauts, praying to Allah Almighty for their safe return.
"You're embodying the hopes and ambitions of a nation that is steadfastly progressing, thanks to the visionary vision of our leaders, to fulfill our aspirations and achieve quantum supremacy across all fields," Sheikh Mohamed added.
"You both represent every Emirati and our nation is lucky to have cadres like yourselves," he enthused.
For their part, AlMansoori and AlNeyadi expressed sincere thanks to H.H. Sheikh Mohamed and the UAE wise leadership for their unswerving support.
"We are all proud of being representatives of our homeland on the International Space Station and raising the UAE flag onboard," they said.
"This milestone represents reaping the fruits sown by late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan when he once received foreign cosmonauts; the Founding Father was then getting the nation geared for a brighter future and now we are now following in his footsteps," they added.
Attending the call were H.H. Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation; H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior; H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy National Security Adviser; Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority; H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Transport; and Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Undersecretary of the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi; along with Jabr Ghanem Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi; and Mohamed Ali AlMansoori, the brother of astronaut Hazza AlMansoori.
On Wednesday, 25 September 2019, at 5:56pm the first Emirati astronaut Hazza AlMansoori will be launched on board the Soyuz Launch Vehicle, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome Space Center in Kazakhstan, to board the International Space Station.
The UAE Astronaut Programme was launched in April 2017 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, with the objective to train and prepare the first Emirati astronaut corps to be sent to space for various scientific missions.
Hazzaa AlMansoori and Sultan AlNeyadi are the first batch of astronauts from this Programme. They trained in the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Moscow under an agreement between the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre and Roscosmos for a mission to the International Space Station on 25th September 2019, for which Hazzaa AlMansoori is the main astronaut and Sultan AlNeyadi is his back up.