The Soyuz spacecraft took off on Wednesday from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with three astronauts on board, including Hazza Ali Al Mansoori, the 1st Emirati astronaut to be sent into space.
The spacecraft carrying Hazza al-Mansouri, American Jessica Meir and Russian Oleg Scribochka, set off without a slight problem, from the steppes of Kazakhstan at 13:57 GMT, according to scenes broadcast by the Russian space agency "Roscosmos".
"The Soyuz capsule, where the three astronauts were stationed, broke off from the rocket exactly eight minutes and 48 seconds after take-off, reaching the orbit that allowed it to reach the International Space Station (ISS)," Roscosmos said on its Twitter account.
The Journey is set to take about 8 days. They are due to return on October 3, coinciding with the return of Russian Alexei Ovchinin and American Nick Hague, who have been at the ISS since last March.
The ISS is a rare example of continued cooperation between Russia and the US amid tensions between the two countries since the Cold War. Sixteen countries are involved in the project, which cost a total of $ 100 billion and is funded mainly by the US and Russia.
Hazaa Al Mansouri
Al Mansoori was born on 13 December 1983 in the Abu Dhabi suburb of Al Wathba.
During his childhood, he loved exploring and watching stars and meteors on dark nights in the desert of Liwa, where he spent most of his early life. He dreamed of being a pilot and loved to read about airplanes and space trips.
In 2004, Al Mansoori graduated from Khalifa bin Zayed Air College, with a Bachelor's degree in aviation.
On 6 December 2017, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum wrote on his official page on social network "Twitter", inviting young Emiratis to register for the UAE Astronaut Programme through the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre.
Al Mansoori was one of two people selected from 4,022 candidates, after successfully passing a series of tests in the UAE and Russia.
The 35-year-old Hazza Al Mansouri's participation in the mission allows the UAE to join Saudi Arabia and Syria, the only Arab countries to send an astronaut on a mission in 1985 and 1987.
The pilot will become the first Arab astronaut to descend on the International Space Station.
The young man, who did not confirm his participation in this trip until very late, expressed his great honor and pride in joining this mission which arouses great enthusiasm in the UAE.
During the traditional press conference on the eve of the takeoff, he stated that he seeks to "achieve this mission successfully" and to return from it "with ample information."
“The dream has come true,” Mansouri said, noting that he would share his daily prayers with the Earth.
To mark the country’s “Year of Tolerance”, his space kit will include 30 Al Ghaf tree seeds that would be planted across the UAE after their return from space.
“A few hours before launch and I’m filled with this indescribable feeling of glory and awe. Today I carry the dreams and ambition of my country to a whole new dimension. May Allah grant me success in this mission,” Hazaa tweets a few hours before flying off.