ABU DHABI, 12th October 2019 (WAM) - Hazza Al Mansoori, the UAE's first astronaut, said he was pleased with the historic achievement made for the UAE and the Arabic world after reaching the International Space Station, ISS.
Addressing the media shortly after his return to the UAE, along with backup astronaut, Sultan Al Neyadi, Al Mansoori said: ""When I saw His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the image of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his dream older than 40 years dream coming true."
He said he was proud to represent the UAE and the Arab world in the mission and being part of the achievements.
"It is a beginning for the flame of hope for the Arab world in space domains."
He also expressed pride in wearing national dress and speaking Arabic in space.
"The mission was about serving humanity, regardless of nationality, race or religion. When I said goodbye to fellow astronauts, it felt like I was saying goodbye to my brothers and sisters, my family. We celebrate this year as the 'Year of Tolerance', and our presence at the ISS was a true reflection of tolerance."
Al Neyadi described the experiment as "great and beyond description."
"Hazza wasn't alone in the space, I felt I was with him every step of the way. At the beginning of the mission, we shared the same difficulties and challenges, the way we eat, drink, study and learn Russian language," he added.