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Mon 23 Sep 2019 11:38 AM

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Soyuz rocket ready to take UAE astronaut to space in historic mission

Hazzaa Al Mansoori will be blasted off to space on Wednesday September 25

Soyuz rocket ready to take UAE astronaut to space in historic mission
The vehicle carrying the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft features the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center logo as well as the flags of the UAE, Russia and US.

The 50-metre-long Soyuz FG rocket which will transport the UAE’s first astronaut Hazzaa Al Mansoori to the International Space Station (ISS) has been lifted by a crane to position and will be ready to launch on Wednesday, September 25.

The Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft features the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center logo as well as the flags of the UAE, Russia and US.

“We’re excited about the launch,” said Salem Al Merri, Assistant Director General of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, “They [cosmonaut and astronauts] are in great condition. A meeting was held for minor adjustments in the schedule. But so far, it’s all systems go.”

The rocket which is roughly the height of a 13-storey commercial building, is currently at the Baikonur Cosmodrome facilities in Kazakhstan, where its three stages are being assembled ahead of the historic mission. It transport three members of Expedition 61 to the ISS including Russian commander Oleg Skripochka and Nasa astronaut Jessica Meir.

It is situated in the same launch site, pad No. 1, from which Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin blasted off to space on April 12, 1961 to become the first man in space on board the Vostok 1 spacecraft.

First launched in 1966, the Soyuz rocket and launch system was developed by Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation, Energia, and built by the Research and Production Development Center of Progress Rocket Space Centre in Samara, Russia.

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