Roscosmos has concurred with its partners on a program of flights to the International Space Station for astronauts from the United Arab Emirates, CEO of Russia’s State Space Corporation Dmitry Rogozin wrote on Twitter, TASS reported.
"During the talks in the Dubai-based Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) Roscosmos, together with its partners, gave the go-ahead to astronauts from the UAE for a program of flights to the ISS. They are being trained in Star City (near Moscow)," Rogozin said.
The flight’s date will be announced within two weeks, the state corporation’s press service said. Earlier, Rogozin stated that the UAE astronaut’s flight to the ISS, scheduled for April 2019, was delayed over the Soyuz-FG carrier rocket’s launch failure, but it would still take place this year.
The UAE’s first astronauts are military air pilot Hazza Al Mansouri and IT support engineer Sultan Al Niyadi. Only one of the two will make the space journey. The other will stay behind as a back-up.
Last year, Roscosmos signed a contract with the UAE’s space center to train the country’s first astronaut and carry out his flight to the ISS. The UAE’s astronaut will spend a week on board the ISS to return to Earth together with the crew of the Soyuz manned spacecraft.