Emirati astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri says 'salaam alaikum' to the world
As he climbed on board ISS, Maj Al Mansouri greeted the world with the traditional Muslim greeting
The first Emirati astronaut in space greeted the world with a 'salaam alaikum' as he prepared to clamber aboard the International Space Station, eight hours after a historic blast off from Earth.
Maj Hazza Al Mansouri spoke to mission control as he waited for the air lock between Soyuz MS-15 and the ISS to open at 2.20am UAE time.
"We are grateful to have reached the ISS and ilhamdillah everything is good," he said in Arabic.
"The Earth is beautiful from this place. It is small but I can see a small part of it.
"God protect you. Send my regards to the people of the UAE."
Dr Ahmad Al Falasi, chairman of the UAE Space Agency, returned his message from Baikonur Cosmodrome, where the Soyuz rocket launched from at 5.57pm UAE time.
"Hazza, this is Ahmad Al Falasi, we send you greetings from ll the people here in Baikonur and in the UAE," said Dr Al Falasi, also Minister of State for Higher Education.
"The way you can see the Earth completely, all Emiratis can you see completely. You have raised our heads high, congratulations."
In his eight days Maj Al Mansouri will perform a series of experiments, question-and-answer sessions with young people in the UAE and present a live tour of the station in Arabic. He will also undergo brief medical experiments to study the effects of space on his body.
After docking about midnight the Soyuz hatch will open at 2am, allowing the crew on to the ISS.
During his eight-day trip, Maj Al Mansouri will make dinner for his crew mates with traditional Emirati food flown up in cans.
- Thursday, September 26, he will carry out a series of science in space experiments and take part in a short radio call at 11.33pm
- Friday, September 27, experiments include time perception in microgravity and a live session at 2.30pm UAE time lasting about 20 minutes
- Saturday, September 28, science in space experiments followed by a cardiovector session. This is a study that astronauts undergo to understand more about cardiology in space and the stresses placed on the body
- Sunday, September 29 - tour of the station in Arabic. Space chiefs hope to educate and inspire millions of young Arabs as Maj Al Mansouri takes them around the ISS. There will also be a live chat session between 2.40pm and 3pm
- Monday, September 30, another live session at 4.14pm, followed by further experiments
- Tuesday, October 1, a further live session with young people followed by experiments involving fluids in space
- Wednesday, October 2, more experiments and preparations for the Soyuz craft to undock
- Thursday, October 3, undock at 11.36am to descend to Earth. Maj Al Mansouri will return to Earth, landing at one of three sites in Kazakhstan about 4pm UAE time.
On board the ISS already are Russians Alexey Ovchinin and Alexander Skvortsov, Nasa astronauts Christina Koch, Nick Hague and Andrew Morgan and European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano.
Hague and Ovchinin are scheduled to wrap up a mission of more than 200 days on October 3 and return to Earth with Maj Al Mansouri.
Updated: October 1, 2019 03:19 PM