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

UAE confirms date of first Emirati astronaut's mission to International Space Station
1 min read
26 August, 2019
The UAE has confirmed the date that its first astronaut will take off from Kazakhstan to travel to the International Space Station.
Hazza al-Mansouri will lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome [Getty]

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.