Emirati Astronaut and Soyuz Craft Headed Home

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Short Mission for the First Emirati Astronaut Comes to an End

Early this morning, Russian commander Alexey Ovchinin, NASA flight engineer Nick Hague and Emirati astronaut Hazzaa Ali Almansoori began their journey home. Both Ovchinin and Hague were ending long missions aboard the ISS, while  Almansoori was only aboard for a few days.

Firing Up The Engines and Heading Home

The Soyuz’s voyage home requires a rocket burn for nearly five minutes once the capsule is away from the ISS. The flight plan called for a landing in Kazakhstan this morning. With good weather, officials from Rosmocos, NASA, and the UAE were standing by to greet the space travelers.

The crew were given a good once over by medical professionals. They also made satellite phone calls before they headed to their respective destinations. Ovchinin and Almansoori were both bound for Russia—a relatively short trip when you figure Hague has to fly halfway around the world to get back to Houston.

Things Left Behind

As always, work aboard the ISS continues. In fact, there are still six members of the Expedition 61 crew in orbit. Those heroes are Italian commander Luca Parmitano, NASA astronauts Christina Koch, Jessica Meir, and Drew Morgan, and cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Skripochka. Those awesome individuals will perform a LOT of spacewalks by the end of the year, and even welcome some of the first commercial participants aboard. You can read more about Expedition 61’s mission here.

Meanwhile, in the UAE…

One imagines ticker-tape and confetti, perhaps, when Almansoori gets back home. After all, he’s the first Emirati astronaut. Dubai, however, isn’t New York, and it’s not 1945. So it’ll probably be more like a supercar parade and a flood of congratulatory tweets. And well deserved ones at that. 

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Brandon Humphreys

Brandon Humphreys

I'm a wizard. I write stuff and it goes from my head into yours - Magic! Apart from that, I am the Senior Editor for Space Porn, a veteran, a rock guitarist, and a teacher.

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