UAE astronauts arrive in Baikonur ahead of launch

 UAE astronauts arrive in Baikonur ahead of launch

Dubai: The UAE’s Mission 1 crew members have arrived in Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan ahead of their September 25 space flight to the International Space Station (ISS)

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) on Tuesday night shared photos of the arrival of first Emirati astronaut Hazza Al Mansoori and reserve astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi in Baikonur.

Hazza was with the prime crew led by Russian commander Oleg Skripochka and Nasa astronaut Jessica Meir while Sultan was with his fellow reserve astronauts Russian commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Nasa astronaut Thomas Marshburn.

The two teams arrived in separate planes and were welcomed by officials and a group of supporters and well-wishers with Russian flags in hand.

Their arrival marks the beginning of their two-week quarantine to ensure that they are in tiptop condition for the launch on-board the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft.

A flag-raising ceremony at Baikonur is scheduled on Thursday to be followed by a sports game and a tree planting ceremony next week.

The astronauts will undergo a series of fit checks on the final week before the launch. They will be presented to the State Commission on September 24 before the much-awaited lift-off on September 25.

Hazza will raise the UAE flag on the ISS as the first Emirati and Arab on the space station. His stay will run for eight days packed with 16 scientific experiments, a live tour of the ISS in Arabic, and an Emirati traditional night.

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