Emirati becomes first Arab to reach ISS

Baikonur, Kazakhstan, Sept 26 (AFP/APP): An Emirati has made a history as the first Arab to reach the International Space Station.

The Russian spacecraft carrying Hazzaa al-Mansoori of the United Arab Emirates, who was accompanied by Russia’s Oleg Skripochka and NASA astronaut Jessica Meir, docked Wednesday after a six-hours trip.

The three “entered the orbiting lab and joined six of their station crewmates for a joyful crew greeting ceremony today,” NASA tweeted.

A video shows the new arrivals entering head first through a hatch to join their grinning colleagues, who welcomed them with floating hugs. Mansoori, 35, received support from around the world ahead of what he described as his “dream” mission.

In Dubai, a crowd gathered at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre to watch the launch, erupting in cheers and dubbing Mansoori a national hero. Some carried UAE flags. Dubai’s iconic Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper, lit up the moment of blast-off.

First Emirati Astronaut Set to Fly to International Space Station

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