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Hazzaa AlMansoori arrives at the International Space Station. Image Credit: Nasa

The arrival of the Emirati astronaut, Hazza AlMansoori, at the International Space Station, ISS, after a journey closely followed by the entire world, is a milestone in the UAE’s efforts to become a leader in the international space sector.

This day is full of well-deserved joy and pride in the UAE, as well as in other Arab and Islamic countries, as the Soyuz spacecraft reached the ISS with AlMansoori carrying the flag of the UAE, inspired by the experience of the Saudi Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the first Arab astronaut to orbit around Earth.

The message tweeted by Hazza AlMansoori, which was seen by millions of youth around the world, stated, "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."

On Wednesday, 25th September, the world saw Al Mansoori via a live feed with the "Zayed Ambition Logo" on his shoulder, and while preparing for his historic journey, and gave the UAE's three-finger salute -- symbolising win, victory, and love -- highlighting the two-year achievements of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre.

AlMansoori, who was an F-16 pilot, travelled to space holding the flag of the country of tolerance and achievement, as well as the flag of Russia, in a historic mission adding to the UAE’s soft power.

First Arab on ISS

AlMansoori is the first Arab astronaut qualified to work onboard the ISS, where he will conduct a series of scientific experiments, adding to humanity’s scientific knowledge, while representing the UAE space sector.

He will also take photos of the Earth as part of his mission, which will be a momentous occasion in the UAE’s history and will inspire many others.

During a press conference held at the Yuri Gagarin Centre, AlMansoori sent a message to the youth of the world stressing his pride in representing the UAE and the Arab region on the ISS, and affirming his belief that the "Zayed Ambition" will empower the Emirati youth to achieve their goals and overcome their challenges.

AlMansoori, who will orbit the Earth around 100 times during the eight-day trip, will present to the world a visual introductory message in Arabic about the ISS.

The Emirati astronaut was not alone when he travelled to space, as the hearts of the UAE’s leadership, government and people were with him.