Emirati astronauts Hazzaa Al Mansoori and Dr. Sultan Al Neyadi landed back in the UAE after Hazzaa’s groundbreaking trip to the International Space Station.
‘Welcome home, pride of the nation’
The Emirati astronauts descended back onto home soil via a red carpet surrounded by UAE flags and members of the Royal family. A sign which read, ‘Welcome home, pride of the nation’ greeted them.
Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan received Hazzaa at the Presidential Airport in the capital, handing him a folded UAE flag as a gift.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, welcomes home UAE astronauts Hazzaa AlMansoori and Sultan AlNeyadi at the Presidential Airport in Abu Dhabi. pic.twitter.com/ickFnHwlt0
An Emirati dance troupe also performed a traditional dance and the UAE’s air force aerobatic team performed a display with the colours of the country’s flag marking the skies.
Hazzaa was accompanied by Dr Sultan Al Neyadi, who also underwent a year of training as a reserve astronaut.
Mohamed bin Zayed receives astronauts Hazza Al Mansouri and Sultan Al Neyadi upon their arrival at the Presidential Airport, after a successful and historic trip to the International Space Station. pic.twitter.com/jwto36VCWE
The 35-year-old astronaut is the first from the Arab world to make it to the International Space Station. He embarked on an eight-day journey conducting earth observations, interacting with ground stations and sharing information.
We are about to undock from the ISS. Another challenge is wandering around. With fear and pride, I am returning with Zayed’s ambition achieved. We are not done yet, and we will never be. To bring back the golden era of arab astronauts. pic.twitter.com/9aYUFNyi0H
The significance of Hazzaa’s triumphant journey into space has touched the hearts of the people of the UAE, especially His Highness, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The ruler has frequently expressed his deep pride at Hazzaa’s and Dr Sultan’s achievements, fulfilling an ambition of his to see an Emirati astronaut in space.
“You both are role models for the type of youth we are betting on in our steady march on the path of progress. You’re a model to be emulated by Arab young people sincerely working for the advancement of their nations.”