Mansouri and Neyadi are now qualified for mission assignments, while two other Emirati astronauts are set to finish their training. Nora Al Matrooshi and Mohammad Al Mulla are trained alongside NASA’s 2021 Astronaut Candidate Class.
Mansouri had spent eight days at the orbiting laboratory in 2019. During this time, he conducted 31 experiments, of which 16 collaborated with other international space agencies.
Mansouri was a military pilot before becoming an astronaut, while Neyadi is a former IT professional. Another Emirati, Saleh Al Ameri, is part of an eighth-month-long project in Russia that tests the effects of long-term space travel on humans. He has to spend time with other candidates in an isolation pod, which simulates space missions.
As part of its space race, the UAE is also on track to send a smart rover to the moon and a mission to explore the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.