Hazza Al Mansouri's ISS mission is giant leap for space exploration, say UAE rulers

Rulers of Emirates say successful launch of UAE's first astronaut in space reflects determination and willpower of country’s youth

The rulers of the Emirates congratulated the UAE’s first astronaut on his historic journey to the International Space Station. Wam
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The rulers of the Emirates congratulated the UAE’s first astronaut on his historic journey and said it marked the beginning of a promising future for its people.

At 5.57pm on Wednesday, Hazza Al Mansouri successfully launched into space. Just hours later, at 11.42am, the UAE's new hero reached the International Space Station.

The country’s rulers said it was a moment that inspired the people of the world.

Proving that nothing is now impossible, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said Al Mansouri's entry to space sent a message to Arab youth that they can keep pace with the rest of the world.

“Today, we celebrate the historic flight of the first Emirati Astronaut to the International Space Station," he tweeted on Wednesday.

"An Emirati achievement we take pride in and dedicate to Muslim and Arab nations.”

The Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai went on to speak of his pride for the UAE's space exploration efforts.

"Our next station is Mars through the Hope Probe, competently designed by our Emirati youth," he wrote.

More than two years ago, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, launched the UAE Astronaut Programme.

As Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed proudly watched Al Mansouri lift off into space, he said the event strengthened the UAE's confidence in its youth.

"[The youth] will take our nation to new heights and it reinforces our ambitions for the future. We pray for Hazza’s success and his safe return home," he tweeted, adding that the first Emirati astronaut was a man who embodied "the Arab world’s hope for a better tomorrow".

Watching on from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, said the it was Sheikh Zayed's dream for the UAE to reach space.

"[It was] a dream supported by Sheikh Khalifa and made a reality by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid," he tweeted.

"The pride and magnificence of our homeland can only be achieved by leaders who create the best future for their people."

Joining in on the messages of congratulations, Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Ruler of Fujairah, said Al Mansouri's journey reflected the determination and willpower of the country’s youth. While Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Ruler of Ajman, said Wednesday’s journey helped to inspire young Emiratis to reach for the stars and achieve anything they set their mind to.

September 25 marked “a promising future in the UAE’s space field, [one] which would boost the status of our country globally”, he said.

Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, called it a "leap towards a new era that entrenches the country's stature in the space field".

Speaking about the UAE Space Programme, he said the latest mission embodies the UAE leadership's confidence in Emiratis and their ability to add a new chapter in the country’s achievements.

“[It’s an] ambition that does not know 'impossible'."

Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mualla, Ruler of Umm Al Quwain, said Hazza Al Mansouri set an Emirati and Arab record in the history and space industry of the world.

He said the launch of the KhalifaSat and the announcement of the Emirates Mars Mission, ‘Hope Probe’, witnessed unprecedented scientific steps in the country’s history.