Russian media reports say that the rocket carrying the Emirati astronaut will blast off into space on September 25…

The UAE’s first astronaut is set to launch into space this September, according to Russian media reports.

State-owned news agency Sputnik says that a date for the mission to space has been set for September 25, and that the Emirati astronaut, will blast off for the International Space Station as part of a three-man mission. The astronaut will spend eight days there before returning on October 3. It’s two days shorter than the original ten-day mission, which was previously announced.

The details have not yet been confirmed by the Dubai-based Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, although an event is scheduled for Monday February 25 to announce mission details and name the chosen astronaut. So, it doesn’t sound like we’ll have to wait for confirmation.

Heading to the International Space Station will be either Hazza Al Mansoori or Sultan Al Neyadi, the two Emirati astronauts who are currently in Russia, training for their mission. The chosen candidate will be joined by Russian commander Oleg Skripochka and American flight engineer Chris Cassidy, according to The National.

The three astronauts will be deployed on the Soyuz rocket, which, on its return, will bring back the UAE astronaut and a different crew of those who left on the Soyuz MS-12 several months prior.

The news comes eight months after Sheikh Mohammed announced that an Emirati astronaut would be launched into space. In a series of Tweets at the time, the Dubai ruler said that ‘our vision, which started 12 years ago, is starting to bear fruit’.

Sheikh Mohammed went on to cite the UAE’s further work in the field, referencing the manufacture of the Mars probe & the first national satellite manufacturing complex, and the training of Emirati astronauts.

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Images: Getty