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2 Astronauts from UAE Heading to International Space Station

2 Astronauts from UAE Heading to International Space Station

Monday, 3 September, 2018 - 17:15
The International Space Station. (AFP)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Two astronauts from the United Arab Emirates will be heading to the International Space Station, a first for the Gulf nation.

UAE Vice President and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum made the announcement on Twitter on Monday.

“Hazza and Sultan represent all young Arabs and represent the pinnacle of the UAE's ambitions,” tweeted Sheikh Mohammed.

“Congratulations to the people and youth of the Emirates,” he added.

The mission of Hazza al-Mansouri and Sultan al-Nayadi is scheduled for next years.

The first Arab in outer space was Saudi Arabia's Sultan bin Salman Al-Saud, who flew on a US shuttle mission in 1985. Two years later, Syrian air force pilot Mahammed Faris spent a week aboard the ex-Soviet Union's Mir space station.

Mansouri and Nayadi, who were among more than 4,000 Emiratis to apply for the program, were chosen after a rigorous six-stage vetting procedure.

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