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UAE's first astronaut takes off with US and Russian space station crew



25th September 2019

– The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is now the 40th country in history that one of its citizens flies into space with the launch of a crew flying to the International Space Station.

] Hazzaa AlMansoori, a space travel agent, who flew under a contract between the Russian Space Agency and the United Arab Emirates 'Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC), launched on Wednesday (September 25) with Roscosmos' cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka and NASA astronaut Jessica Meir. The three took off on board the Russian spacecraft Soyuz MS-15 at 9:57 am (local time 1457 GMT or 6:57 pm) on a Soyuz-FG rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The flight marked the final planned deployment of Gagarin's launch, the launch pad on which the cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first man to fly into space on April 1

2, 1961. According to Roscosmos, the historic base, also known as Site 1, is being converted to a more modern version of the Soyuz rocket. However, the date of completion of this work is currently unknown.

Nine minutes after leaving Gagarin's launch Skripochka, Meir and AlMansoori entered Earth orbit to begin their journey to the International Space Station (ISS). After a rendezvous with four orbits the Soyuz is to dock at 15:45 o'clock at the Zvezda service module of the station. EDT (2045 GMT).

"It is a unique responsibility and a unique opportunity to bring the first astronaut from the United Arab Emirates aboard the station, not that we fly him, he will fully work crew member of our crew," said Skripochka at a press conference on Tuesday. "But it does bring some attention to our crew, it's a historic event, to say the least."

"It was a very interesting momentum, especially as part of this very historic mission, which for the first time took place in a country," Meir said. "It's not as common these days as it should be, it's really amazing and makes the experience even more interesting."

The three Soyuz MS-15 crew members will join the six astronauts and cosmonauts already on the space station, including Expedition 60 commander Aleksey Ovchinin of Roscosmos, NASA astronauts Christina Koch, Nick Hague and Drew Morgan, the Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov.

The arrival of Skripochka and Meir is planned. Mark the beginning of a six-month mission during which they will be deployed on the space station's Expedition and 62 crew members.

AlMansoori spends only eight days in the orbit lab before returning to Earth with Soyuz MS-12 Skvortsov and Hague. The three are to reach the Kazakh steppe on 3 October.

With the departure of Skvortsov and Hague after more than 200 days on the space station officially Expedition 60 and the beginning of Expedition 61 ends under Parmitanos command.

Skripochka and Meir, as members of the resident crew, will conduct hundreds of experiments, perform maintenance to maintain operation of the complex, and monitor the arrival and departure of vehicles, including Japan's Eighth H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-8) , which was launched on Tuesday and will arrive on Saturday (September 28) with supplies for the space station.

Skripochka and Meir could also be present at the arrival of Boeing's first spaceship CST-100 Starliner on A crewless flight test currently scheduled for this fall.

AlMansoori will spend his week at the station and also perform experiments, some for the UAE and some in association with Roscosmos or the ESA, as well as with relatives of His experiences in his country in four live broadcasts. He also brought along a range of cultural items and food items he wanted to share with his crewmembers, including a flag of the United Arab Emirates and a lamb stew from Emirates.

AlMansoori, a 35-year-old former military pilot, was selected by a for the United Arab Emirates astronaut program pool of more than 4,000 applicants. He is not only the representative of his country but also the third Arab to fly into space after Prince Sultan bin Salman al-Saud of Saudi Arabia and Muhammed Faris of Syria, who flew more than 30 years ago.

"I'm proud" AlMansoori was the first astronaut from the United Arab Emirates and an Arab country orbiting the ISS, "AlMansoori told reporters before the start," It's an honor and I'm happy to succeed in this mission and come back with a lot of knowledge and experience that I will share with all. "

Meir, 42, also makes her first spaceflight as a member of NASA's 21st astronaut group, 2013 She is a marine biologist who has studied the behavior of emperor penguins in the Antarctic and the physique of bearded geese.Meir, a dual citizen of the US and Sweden, was previously an Aquanaut aboard the Aquarius Underwater Laboratory as part of the NEEMO-4 crew NASA worked in 2002.

Skripochka, 49, has already spent 331 days in space Previous stays on the station, expedition 25/26 in 2011 and expedition 47/48 in 2016. Sk ripochka, a mechanical engineer working for the aerospace company RSC Energia, collected more than 16 hours in the vacuum of space or spacewalks in three alien activities (EVAs) during his previous missions.

Soyuz MS-15 is Russia's 61st Soyuz spacecraft, heading to the International Space Station since 2000 and since the first Soyuz mission in 1967, 144th


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