The first Emirati astronaut to go into space won't be missing popular UAE dishes during his upcoming mission. Hazza Al Mansouri is currently getting ready for his mission to the International Space Station (ISS) - set to launch on September 25.
As he prepares himself for the journey, a company specialized in the production of astronaut food is planning out a special menu for his eight days in space. The Space Food Laboratory company is working on cooking batches of canned halal food for Al Mansouri to have while he's far from Earth.
Dishes include local delicacies like balaleet (sweetened vermicelli and eggs), saloona (Emirati lamb stew), and mathrooba (salt-cured fish stew). According to Gulf News, they will be ready for take off by mid-August.
Al Mansouri, along with Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka and American astronaut Jessica Meir, will be launched to space aboard a Soyuz MS 15 spacecraft and will complete an eight-day stay on the ISS.
The Emirati astronaut will carry out a number of scientific experiments before returning to Earth on October 3. Once he completes his mission, Al Mansouri will make history as the first-ever Emirati and Arab to fly to the ISS.
Ready for takeoff! The UAE chose its first astronauts last year
In 2018, Al Mansouri and Sultan al Neyadi were revealed as the first Emiratis to be selected to fly to the ISS.
At the time, Dubai's Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced the two will become the country's first-ever nationals to go to space as part of the UAE Astronaut Program.
The duo was chosen from a pool of 4,022 contenders who applied for Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center's UAE Astronaut Program, which aimed to find the nation's first astronauts.