Baikonur, Kazakhstan, 21 September 2019: The main crew, which includes Hazzaa AlMansoori, Oleg Skripochka, and Jessica Meir, and the back-up crew, composed of Sultan AlNeyadi, Sergey Ryzhikov, and Thomas Marshburn, visited Baikonur Cosmodrome Museum. During their visit, AlMansoori and AlNeyadi handed the mission’s logo ‘Zayed’s Ambition’, the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) logo, and MBRSC’s book ‘Race to Space’, to the curators of the museum. The main crew members then signed on the Soyuz mission logo, which has their names. This took place four days before the launch of the first Emirati astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS), aboard Soyuz MS 15, from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and as per pre-launch traditions.
Prior to that, the main crew and the back-up crew toured the facility sites and saw the rocket carrying the Soyuz MS-15 into space, which is now being assembled. They entered the Soyuz MS-15 to ensure its readiness, and met with a team of experts and engineers to check that it has been prepared according to the observations made by both crews in their first fit check, a few days ago. This is the last time the main crew sees the rocket, while the back-up crew will see it again as it rolls out to the launch station, where it will carry the spacecraft into space on Wednesday, September 25.
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, founded in 2006, is home to the UAE National Space Programme. The Centre builds and operates earth observation satellites, offering imaging and data analysis services to clients around the world. The Centre launched DubaiSat-1, DubaiSat-2, and recently launched KhalifaSat on 29 October 2018 from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan. KhalifaSat was developed 100% in the UAE by a team of highly qualified Emirati engineers. The Centre is responsible for the development of the Emirates Mars Mission and the Mars Hope Probe, a mission to reach Mars orbit by 2021 and gather key science data about Mars’ atmosphere, as well as the UAE Astronaut Programme and the development of the Mars 2117 vision to build a human colony on Mars.
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