Dubai - UAE’s first astronauts are getting suited and booted for their upcoming space mission, during a fitting in Russia. According to images released by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre on Friday, Hazza Al Mansouri and Sultan Al Neyadi were seen trying on their customised Sokol space suits and trying out their Soyuz seat liners during a fit check at the Zvezda facility in Moscow. They returned to Moscow after completing their training at the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) of the European Space Agency (ESA) in Cologne, Germany.

The Sokol space suit, also known as the Sokol IVA suit, or simply the Sokol, is a type of Soviet space suit, worn by all who fly on the Soyuz spacecraft. It will be the first time an Emirati astronaut travels to space. MBR Space Centre tweeted, “The Sokol suits are donned when astronauts launch to the ISS, and when they come back to Earth to protect them from the harmful conditions of space.”

The astronauts completed around 30 hours of theoretical and practical training, supervised by a group of ESA specialists, focusing on the equipment and systems in the European unit of the ISS, such as the life support system that ensures the survival of astronauts in the ISS. The training, all performed in a real-like module of Columbus, also included communicating with the ground station.

Selected among thousands of applicants, Hazza Al Mansoori is the first Emirati astronaut to fly to space this September for an eight-day trip to the International Space Station.