The first Emirati astronaut said “the Earth is beautiful from this place”…

The UAE’s first astronaut left Earth yesterday, Wednesday September 25, at 5.57pm UAE time on a voyage to the International Space Station (ISS). Major Hazzaa Al Mansoori arrived safely at ISS at 11.42pm and once the rocket was safely docked, entered the station at 2.20am UAE time on Thursday morning.

ISS already had six astronauts on board, who welcomed their new crew mates with open arms and smiling faces. NASA live streamed the arrival for the whole world to tune in and witness the moment in history.

ALSO READ: UAE first space mission: 5 things you need to know

Al Mansoori’s first words from space were: “Salaam Alaikum. We are grateful to have reached the ISS and ilhamdillah everything is good. The Earth is beautiful from this place. It is small but I can see a small part of it. God protect you. Send my regards to the people of the UAE.”

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid, Crown Prince of Dubai was among one of the spectators, watching live from the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre. People all over the UAE tuned into the live stream, including His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who was out on a bike ride at the time.

During his eight-day mission aboard the ISS, the Emirati astronaut will be tasked with conducting an array of scientific experiments, including experiments produced by 16 schools across the UAE. He will also present a tour of the space station in Arabic, before returning to Earth on October 3.

— For the best of Dubai straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter.

Images: Dubai Media Office/ MBRSC