MOSCOW, February 25. /TASS/. The preliminary date set for the first space flight by a United Arab Emirates astronaut has been set for September 25, the chief of the Gagarin Space Training Center, Pavel Vlasov, has told TASS.
"At this point, yes (it’s September 25). This agreement is to be confirmed by the Russian side later today in the form of an authorized program for flights to the ISS this year," Vlasov said when asked if it was true the UAE’s first astronaut would be put in space on September 25.
Two UAE astronauts are being trained for the mission: Hazza al Mansouri and Sultan Al Neyadi. Only one of the two will go the ISS, though. The other will stand by. The UAE’s astronaut will stay on the ISS for one week and get back to Earth with the crew of the manned spacecraft Soyuz.
The agreement of intent by which Russia will eventually provide assistance to the UAE to create its own team of astronauts was concluded at an international astronautic congress in Adelaide, Australia, in September 2017.