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Fri 13 Sep 2019 10:59 AM

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Emirati astronauts raise UAE flag ahead of space mission launch

Hazzaa Al Mansoori and Sultan Al Neyadi test space suits they will wear inside Soyuz spacecraft

Emirati astronauts raise UAE flag ahead of space mission launch
Emirati astronauts, Hazzaa Al Mansoori and Sultan Al Neyadi, raised the UAE flag during a ceremony held for the countries participating in the mission to the International Space Station.

Emirati astronauts, Hazzaa Al Mansoori and Sultan Al Neyadi, raised the UAE flag during a ceremony held for the countries participating in the mission to the International Space Station (ISS) later this month.

Oleg Skripochka and Jessica Meir from the main crew, and Sergei Nikolaevich and Thomas Henry from the back-up crew also participated in the ceremony.

This is part of the pre-launch preparations for the mission on Wednesday September 25 and is a tradition for astronauts prior to flying on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The main crew and the back-up crew also visited the Baikonur Cosmodrome Museum, which includes space equipment and miniature models of rockets that have been launched into space.

They also signed the wall of Sergei Korolev, the lead Soviet rocket engineer in the 1940s and 1950s, at the museum.

Al Mansoori and Al Neyadi arrived in Baikonur on September 10 and they have conducted several tests to ensure the readiness of the Sokol spacesuit they would wear inside the Soyuz spacecraft.

The main crew and the back-up crew also conducted the first fit-check of the Soyuz MS-15 to ensure that the devices, equipment, and payload were in place, and to record any observations for the engineers responsible for the spacecraft.

The mission is part of the UAE Astronaut Programme, which is overseen by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre. The UAE Astronaut Programme is the first integrated programme in the Arab region to prepare national cadres to participate in human space flights.

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