UAE astronaut Hazzaa AlMansoori’s return to Earth is another feather in UAE’s cap


The spacecraft is expected to land on ground at Zhezkazgan in Kazakhstan at 2.59pm.

Preparations for UAE astronaut Hazzaa AlMansoori’s return to Earth are in full swing as space officials have booked helicopters and a team of medics to bring him and his crew to safety.

AlMansoori will be returning on the Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft along with Nasa astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin. The undocking from the International Space Station (ISS) will take place between 10.30am and 11am, UAE time. The spacecraft is expected to land on ground at Zhezkazgan in Kazakhstan at 2.59pm.

The 35-year-old former military fighter pilot has spent eight days on the ISS, carrying out important scientific experiments related to the human body and has held educational video calls with schoolchildren and public throughout his mission.

Officials from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) will be heading to the landing site this morning via helicopter and will bring AlMansoori back to Karaganda Airport. Then, they will head off to Moscow for 7-10 days for health checks before returning to the UAE for a grand homecoming.

Salem Al Marri, head of the UAE Astronaut Programme at MBRSC, confirmed to Khaleej Times that the weather in the landing city is looking good for the event and that they have been in communication with AlMansoori several times every day since his arrival on the ISS.

This is the first time an Arab has been on the ISS and his safe return will help UAE scientists study further about Arab genetics, which could potentially help them seek cures to illnesses prevalent in this region.

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