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The first UAE cosmonaut will fly to the ISS this autumn

Youssef Hamad al-Shaibani, Director General of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) said that the first cosmonaut in the history of the UAE will fly to the ISS on September 25 and spend eight days in orbit and return to the Earth on October 3. He said it during a press conference in Dubai, which was broadcast live by local television.

The first UAE cosmonaut is Hazzaa al-Mansuri. He is a military pilot with 14 years of experience, including flying F-16 fighters.

The selection process of the first cosmonaut in the history of the United Arab Emirates started in December 2017,altogether more than 4 thousand applications were received from citizens of the country.

In June 2018, the MBRSC signed an agreement with Roscosmos on sending the first Emirates cosmonaut to the ISS.He was supposed to go to the station in spring 2019,but due to the Soyuz-FG missile accident in October and the change in the station’s flight program,the deadlines had to be shifted.