UAE: First Emirati astronaut Al Mansouri thanks Putin for Russia’s support

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan met with the first-ever UAE astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

Al Mansouri and his backup, astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi thanked Putin for supporting the UAE’s space programme.

“We’ve spent a year in Russia. It felt like home for us. Thank for your support and help, we felt like home in Russia. Due to all of you and the instructors from Roscosmos, we felt really good there,” said Al Mansouri.

Putin on his part thanked the UAE astronaut team, adding that “it all has happened due to the Crown Prince [of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan], as it was his initiative and he completed its implementation”.

Earlier during bilateral talks with the crown prince, Putin said that Moscow was ready to continue supporting the Emirati space programme.

Hazza Al Mansouri made history by becoming the first Emirati to travel to the International Space Station (ISS) at the end of September supported by the Russian space industry. He returned to Earth on October 3 after spending eight days aboard the ISS.

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