UAE has gone down in history after the very first Emirati astronaut by the name of Hazzaa Al Mansoori was sent to the International Space Station (ISS). He was accompanied by two other astronauts on the journey.
The NASA spacecraft carrying them is known as Soyuz. It was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. The spacecraft reached ISS after traveling for about six hours. Hazzaa Al Mansoori has become the very first citizen of UAE to ever fly into space on September 25. The astronaut is flying under a contract that exists between Russia’s space agency and the UAE’s Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC).
UAE has become the 40th country in history to have sent its citizen to space. Hazzaa Al Mansoori launched into space with cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos and astronaut Jessica Meir of NASA.
The three astronauts were on board Russia’s Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft at 9:57 a.m. EDT (1457 GMT) that took them to the ISS. Skripochka said at a press conference on Tuesday, ‘It is a unique responsibility and a unique opportunity to bring the station the first astronaut from the United Arab Emirates aboard. Not that we’re flying him; he’s going to work as a full-fledged crew member of our crew. But it does bring a certain level of attention to our crew. It is a historical event, to say the least.’
Meir said, ‘It has been a very interesting dynamic, especially being part of this very historic mission with the first time for a country. It doesn’t happen as often as it should these days, so it is really amazing and makes the experience even more interesting.’ Skripochka and Meir will be serving on the ISS for a total of six months whereas Hazzaa Al Mansoori will come back to Earth after spending a total of eight days on the space laboratory via Soyuz MS-12 with Skvortsov and Hague – two astronauts that are finishing their stay.
The returning astronauts are slated to make a touchdown in Kazakhstan on October 3.