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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Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at Space.com and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.