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UAE confirms date of first Emirati astronaut's mission to International Space Station Open in fullscreen

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UAE confirms date of first Emirati astronaut's mission to International Space Station

Hazza al-Mansouri will lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome [Getty]

Date of publication: 26 August, 2019

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The UAE has confirmed the date that its first astronaut will take off from Kazakhstan to travel to the International Space Station.

The United Arab Emirates has confirmed that its first astronaut will lift off for the International Space Station on the evening of September.

Hazza al-Mansouri, 35, will travel take off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at exactly 5:56pm UAE time (GMT+4).

Al-Mansoori and back up astronaut Sultan al-Neyadi are set to undertake their final exam in Russia on 30 August after having completed their training.

Al-Mansoori will carry out 16 scientific experiments while on the mission. 

Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, announced the names of the two astronauts last September, however it was al-Mansoori who was later chosen as to carry out the mission.

Emirati media have closely followed their progress, which has seen them train to handle Russia's sub-zero temperatures.

The UAE has a fledgling space programme and launched its first locally made satellite, KhalifaSat, in October from Japan. It wants to launch a probe to Mars in 2020.

The UAE has even bigger ambitions for its space programme, and by 2020 wants to send a probe to Mars. It also seeks to build a city for 600,000 people on Mars by 2117.

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