The United Arab Emirates is about to take its first leap into space and you can watch it happen live.
The first Emirati astronaut, Hazzaa Ali Almansoori, will launch to the International Space Station today (Sept. 25) with a NASA astronaut and Russian cosmonaut to mark the UAE Space Agency's first human spaceflight. A Russian Soyuz rocket will launch the crew from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 9:57 a.m. EDT (1357 GMT) .
You can watch the Emirati astronaut launch live here and on Space.com's homepage, courtesy of NASA TV, beginning at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT). Riding into space with Almansoori on the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft are first-time flyer Jessica Meir of NASA and veteran cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka.
Almansoori will begin an eight-day mission to the International Space Station under a spaceflight participant agreement between Russia's space agency Roscosmos and the United Arab Emirates. Meir and Skripochka, meanwhile, are beginning a six-month mission as part of the station's new Expedition 61/62 crew.
It will be a short trip to the space station for Almansoori, Meir and Skripochka. Their Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft is expected to take six hours to reach the space station, docking with the orbiting laboratory at 3:45 p.m. EDT (1945 GMT). The Soyuz will orbit Earth four times on the way to the station.
"Their arrival will increase the orbiting laboratory's population to nine people until Oct. 3, when Hague and Ovchinin, who are completing a mission of more than 200 days, will return to Earth with Almansoori on the Soyuz MS-12 space;'craft," NASA officials wrote in a statement .
In addition to Hague and Ovchinin, the station's current Expedition 60 crew includes NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Andrew Morgan, European Space Agency Luca Parmitano and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov.
NASA's docking webcast will begin at 3 a.m. EDT (1900 GMT). A third webcast at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) will broadcast a hatch opening and welcome ceremony for the new crew.
Visit Space.com for complete coverage of the Expedition 61/62 launch to the space station today.
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