Watch Live: UAE's mission to the International Space Station
Priya Wadhwa
Space Exploration

Watch Live: UAE's mission to the International Space Station

Hazza Al Mansoori is set to lift off today at 5:56 p.m.

As we will be finishing our workday today, Hazza Al Mansoori will become the first Emirati pilot to lift-off for the International Space station.

All eyes will be on the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft as it soars towards the International Space Station (ISS) for a six-hour journey.

Watch the live stream of the lift off here:

You can watch the entire journey live on the NASA Live stream below.

Here are the timings to watch out for:

  1. Liftoff: 5:56 p.m. GST

  2. Docking at the ISS: 11:45 p.m. GST, 25th September

  3. Hatch opening and welcoming ceremony: 1:00 a.m. GST, 26th September

Launch sequence to the International Space Station

The Soyuz booster rocket FG with Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft is ready to lift off from the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

At the time of ignition, four boosters in the first stage of the rocket will provide the most powerful thrust to the rocket towards space. Once the fuel in those four boosters is consumed, the first stage (bottom-most part of the rocket) will separate from the rest of the rocket.

Then the second stage of the rocket will power its journey onward. Now, the nose fairing of the rocket that protects the spacecraft from the impact of dynamic pressure and aerodynamic heating, will also detach, leaving the spacecraft exposed.

Then second stage of the rocket will detach as the fuel empties; leaving the third stage to propel the spacecraft upwards.

When the fuel in the third stage of the rocket is consumed, it will too detach from the spacecraft. All this happens in a matter of 8 minutes and 49 seconds from lift-off.

Following this, solar arrays will be deployed to further the spacecraft.

By this time, the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft would have entered space and began its six-hour journey to the International Space Station.

The International Space Station orbits the Earth within 90 minutes. The spacecraft will fly towards it, chasing the ISS. Docking of the spacecraft at the ISS is expected to be at 11:45 p.m. on the 25th of September.

Two hours post the docking, the hatch of the ISS will open to welcome Hazza Al Mansoori, Russian commander Oleg Skripochka and NASA astronaut Jessica Meir. This will follow a thorough procedure to make sure there are no leaks or pressure differences that can hamper the ISS.

UAE's mission at the ISS and its importance to businesses

The main mission of Hazza Al Mansoori is to study the effects of space on the human body. This study is crucial in the UAE's ambitions when it comes to space travel and exploration.

The journey to space exposes humans to extreme conditions. Particularly weightlessness and lack of gravity, which puts tremendous stress on the human body. NASA's studies have shown that prolonged stay in space could decrease bone density and loss of muscle mass, which puts people on larger risk of bone fractures and impaired muscle performance.

It also impacts the distribution of fluids in the body, which puts the human heart at higher risk. These are the reasons why health checks and training before going to space is so critical to astronauts.

During the eight-day mission, Al Mansoori will conduct 15 studies to research the impact of space on health; tracking vital indicators of human health at the ISS, using onboard laboratories. His health has been tracked before the launch, and will also be tracked once he lands safely back on Earth.

This study is the first of its kind in the Arab region, which will be shared with the international community.

Some of the world's leading technologies are built thanks to research done at the International Space Station. These include water purification, freeze-dried food, modern smoke detectors, as well as many innovations in the healthcare sector, such as ear thermometers, CAT scans, artificial limbs, equipment to monitor blood, athletic shoes, and many more. Al Mansoori's research will be vital to the development of health technology on Earth, as well as equipment for future missions to space.

The UAE has ambitious plans for space exploration, which include setting up a human colony on Mars in the next 100 years. Track its journey since the inception of UAE's Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, as well as its plans for the coming century below.