The first Emirati in Space: How Dubai is reaching for the stars

by Leroy Ah Ben

Updated 12:08 PM ET, Tue September 24, 2019
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Hazzaa AlMansoori (L) and Sultan AlNeyadi (R) have undergone training for the incredibly complex systems inside the Soyuz capsule. They had to learn Russian in order to operate the controls and communicate with the ground crew. Scroll through to see more of this gallery. Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC)
Hazzaa Al Mansoori during simulation training in the Russian Soyuz spacecraft that will take him to the International Space Station. Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC)
A team of specialized engineers from the Russian space agency Roscosmos designed a custom Soyuz MS-15 suit and seat (pictured) for AlMansoori. Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre
The International Space Station, where AlMansoori will carry out scientific experiments over eight days. NASA
The two Emirati astronauts trained in how to stay alive in the brutal Russian winter in case they land in an unexpected location. Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC)
The astronauts are drilled on survival techniques in inhospitable climates for wherever they should land on re-entry. Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC)
The astronauts' training, which consists of two stages, basic and advanced, is conducted in different countries around the world at specialized astronaut training facilities and centers. Sabine Grothues
Hazzaa AlMansoori (L) will board a Soyuz-MS 15 spacecraft at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan before blasting off into space. Sultan AlNeyadi (R) has also been training as the backup astronaut for the mission. Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC)
Having an Emirati in space is just the beginning for Dubai's fledgling space industry. Here is a computer rendering of a probe that will be launched in July 2020 to reach Mars in 2021, according to the engineers involved in the project. It will be called the Hope spacecraft (or Al Amal in Arabic). courtesy Emirates Mars Mission
The UAE aims to invest further in the field of space research by building the giant Mars Science City, as seen in this rendering here, in the desert outside Dubai. courtesy Dubai Media Office
The aim of the project is to simulate what life would be like for a colony on Mars. Here is another artistic impression of what the Mars Science City will look like from the inside. courtesy Dubai Media Office
The project is expected to cost $136 million and is expected to be complete by 2022. courtesy Dubai Media Office