Hazza Al Mansouri


Hazza Al Mansouri
Hazza Al Mansouri (1).jpg
Born (1983-12-13) December 13, 1983 (age 37)
Other namesHazza Ali Abdan Khalfan Al Mansouri
هَزَّاع عَلِي عَبْدان خَلْفَان ٱلْمَنْصُوْرِي
Alma materKhalifa bin Zayed Air College
Space career
UAE Astronaut (2018)
Current occupation
Previous occupation
Fighter pilot
Time in space
7d 21h 01m [3]
SelectionMBRSC Selection 1[3]
MissionsSoyuz MS-15/Soyuz MS-12 (ISS EP-19)
Mission insignia
Soyuz-MS-15-Mission-Patch.png Soyuz-MS-12-Mission-Patch.png Zayed's Ambition Mission Insignia.png

Hazza Al Mansouri[1][2] (Arabic: هَزَّاع ٱلْمَنْصُوْرِي‎, romanizedHazzāʿ Al-Manṣūrī, surname also spelled "Al Mansoori", full name Hazza Ali Abdan Khalfan Al Mansouri (هَزَّاع عَلِي عَبْدان خَلْفَان ٱلْمَنْصُوْرِي) is an Emirati astronaut and the first person from the United Arab Emirates in space. Previously, he was the UAE's youngest F-16 fighter pilot. On 25 September 2019, he launched aboard the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft to the International Space Station, where he stayed for eight days.[4][5] He landed safely in Kazakhstan, on 3 October 2019 aboard Soyuz MS-12 completing the United Arab Emirates first astronaut mission.[6]

Born in Abu Dhabi, Al Mansouri graduated in 2004 from Khalifa bin Zayed Air College with a bachelor's degree in aviation. Prior to becoming an astronaut, he was a Major in the United Arab Emirates Air Force, piloting a F-16 "Desert Falcon". He was selected by Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre alongside Sultan Al Neyadi to become the country's first astronauts on 3 September 2018 and underwent training at Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia.

Early life and education

Al Mansouri was born on 13 December 1983 in the Abu Dhabi suburb of Al Wathba.[1][2] In his childhood, Hazza loved exploring and watching stars and meteors on dark nights in the desert of Liwa where he spent most of his childhood. He dreamed of being a pilot and loved to read about airplanes and space trips.[7]

After graduating from Al Seddique High School in Liwa, Al Dhafra Region, Al Mansouri studied at Khalifa bin Zayed Air College, graduating in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in aviation.

Personal life

Al Mansouri married in July 2007 and has four children: Mariam, Ali, Abdullah, and Mansour.[1][2] He took a United Arab Emirates flag and a photo of his family with him to space.[8]

Military career

After graduation from Khalifa bin Zayed Air College, Al Mansouri joined the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces and became a fighter pilot. He achieved the rank of Major in United Arab Emirates Air Force.[7] He successfully completed training on F-16 "Desert Falcon" in Arizona, United States and become the youngest F-16 pilot for his country.[9] He went through advanced training courses in Water Survival, GYRO LAP Course up to 9G's, and RED Flag Exercise. In 2016, he was selected to train to be an air-show pilot. In 2017, he took part in the Dubai Airshow 2017 and participated in different shows in a number of cities in the UAE to mark the UAE National Day on 2 December 2017.[10]

Astronaut career

On 6 December 2017, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum wrote on his Twitter account, "I invite young Emiratis to register for the UAE Astronaut Programme through the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre".[11] Al Mansoori was one of two people selected from 4022 candidates,[12] following a series of tests in the UAE and Russia. His military background helped him pass the tests.

On 3 September 2018, Sheikh Mohammed tweeted: "We announced today our first astronauts to the International Space Station: Hazza Al Mansoori and Sultan Al Nayadi. Hazza and Sultan represent all young Arabs and represent the pinnacle of the UAE's ambitions".[13]

As part of the agreement between Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and Russian space agency Roscosmos to train Emirati astronauts, Al Mansouri went through training at Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia in preparation for the ISS mission.[citation needed]

Soyuz MS-15/Soyuz MS-12

On 12 April 2019, the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) announced that it had selected Al Mansouri as the prime astronaut for an eight-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS).[14] Al Mansouri was assigned to Soyuz MS-15, alongside Russian commander Oleg Skripochka and American flight engineer Jessica Meir, both of whom would remain aboard the ISS for 204 days as part of Expedition 61/62.[15] Unlike Skripochka and Meir, Al Mansouri would land eight days after launch aboard Soyuz MS-12, alongside Russian commander Aleksey Ovchinin and American flight engineer Nick Hague, who would be returning following a 203-day stay on the ISS as part of Expedition 59/60.

Al Mansouri (left) alongside Soyuz MS-15 commander Oleg Skripochka (centre) and flight engineer Jessica Meir (right).

Al Mansouri, Skripocka and Meir launched on 25 September 2019 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome; the trio spent under six hours free flying in space before docking to the Zvezda module on the ISS. Originally the spacecraft was scheduled to dock to the Poisk module but Soyuz MS-13 had moved there a month earlier to allow for the uncrewed Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft to dock to the Zvezda module for a short period of time.[16] Following docking the hatches between Soyuz MS-15 and Zvezda were opened, allowing Al Mansouri, Skripochka and Meir to travel inside and meet their six crew mates.

Expedition 60 crew with Al Mansouri inside the Unity module for a meal.

Due to the "direct handover" that was needed to facilitate Al Mansouri's short duration mission, his mission occurred during an unusual time when nine people were aboard the ISS, the three crew members who had launched on Soyuz MS-12, Aleksey Ovchinin, Nick Hague and Christina Koch, the three who had launched on Soyuz MS-13, Aleksandr Skvortsov, Luca Parmitano and Andrew Morgan, and the three who had launched aboard Soyuz MS-15.[17] During his short stay aboard the ISS, Al Mansouri conducted 15 experiments created by UAE school students and selected under an MBRSC "Science in space" competition,[18][19] conducted Earth observation experiments, filmed the first ever tour of the ISS in Arabic and became the first Middle eastern person to be studied following time in microgravity.[9][20]

Al Mansouri following the landing of Soyuz MS-12.

On 3 October 2019, Al Mansouri, Ovchinin and Hague boarded the Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft, and undocked from the ISS, ending Expedition 60 and officially beginning Expedition 61, the three spent around five hours free flying in space before de-orbiting and touching down on the Kazakh Steppe, following which Ovchinin and Al Mansouri were flown to Star City, Russia, before Al Mansouri began his journey back to the UAE.[21]


Flying through an agreement between the UAE and Russian governments, Hazza's role aboard the Soyuz and the ISS is referred to as a spaceflight participant (Russian: uchastnik kosmicheskovo poleta) in Roscosmos and NASA documents and press briefings.[22][23] NASA has updated the terminology post the return of the mission to Earth on 3 October 2019, and referred to Hazzaa as a visiting astronaut.[24] The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre refers to his mission as "UAE Astronaut Mission 1" or "Zayed's Ambition".[25][26][27]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Nasir, Sarwat (26 February 2019). "How UAE astronauts reacted to call-up: One went jogging, the other thought it was a dream". Khaleej Times. Dubai. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "Hazza Al-Mansouri". Gulf News. 26 February 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Astronaut Biography: Hazza Al Mansouri". www.spacefacts.de.
  4. ^ "UAE in space: Hazzaa al Mansoori to become first Emirati astronaut". BBC News. 21 September 2019.
  5. ^ "First glimpse of the rocket that will take Emirati astronaut Hazza to space".
  6. ^ "Hazzaa AlMansoori Returns to Earth After a Historic Trip to The ISS". Dubailad. 4 October 2019. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  7. ^ a b "هزاع المنصوري.. من طيار عسكري إلى رائد الفضاء". Al Ain News. 21 September 2019.
  8. ^ "UAE in space: What did Hazzaa AlMansoori carry with him to space?". gulfnews.com. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  9. ^ a b https://www.mbrsc.ae/astronaut-programme/hazzal-al-mansoori
  10. ^ "Hazzaa Al-Mansoori: Everything About The First UAE Astronaut In Space". Republic World. 26 September 2019.
  11. ^ "Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid inviting young Emiratis to register to be astronauts".
  12. ^ "More than 4,000 Emiratis apply to become UAE's first astronaut".
  13. ^ "Sheikh Mohammed announcing Hazza as one of the first two Emirati astronauts".
  14. ^ "Hazza Al Mansouri chosen to become first Emirati in space".
  15. ^ NASA.gov Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  16. ^ "Soyuz MS-14 - finally delivers Skybot humanoid robot to Station at second attempt". 27 August 2019.
  17. ^ NASA.gov Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  18. ^ "Schools invited to pitch for space project for UAE astronauts".
  19. ^ "Science in Space – Push the boundaries and send your experiment to space".
  20. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2NoDqG3PVQ
  21. ^ "Homebound Crew Boards Soyuz Crew Ship, Closes Hatch – Space Station". blogs.nasa.gov. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  22. ^ "Nine crewmembers at the ISS at once". Roscosmos. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  23. ^ "United Arab Emirates spaceflight participant Hazzaa Ali Almansoori". NASA. 29 August 2019. Retrieved 28 September 2019.[dead link] Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  24. ^ "NASA Astronaut Nick Hague, Crewmates Return Safely from International Space Station". NASA. 3 October 2019. Retrieved 9 October 2019. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  25. ^ "Op-Ed: UAE Mission 1 a revered milestone in nation's space exploration goals". menafn.com. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  26. ^ "UAE in space: UAE Mission 1 a revered milestone in nation's space exploration goals". gulfnews.com. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  27. ^ "UAE officials hail successful launch of space mission carrying first Emirati astronaut". menafn.com. Retrieved 28 September 2019.