Hazzaa AlMansoori, the first astronaut to visit the International Space Station from the United Arab Emirates, safely returned to Earth after an eight-day stay on Thursday. AlMansoori's stay covered 128 orbits of Earth and a journey of about 50 lakh kilometres, NASA revealed. NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Soyuz commander, Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin also returned with him. The crew landed safely at 6:59 a.m. EDT in Kazakhstan.
For Almansoori, this landing completed an eight-day stay on the station that covered 128 orbits of Earth and a journey of 3.1 million miles since launching Sept. 25 with NASA astronaut Jessica Meir and Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos. Almansoori made history as he became the first person from the UAE to fly in space. After postlanding medical checks, Hague will return to Houston, and Ovchinin and Almansoori will return to Star City, Russia.
Hague and Ovchinin launched March 14, along with fellow NASA astronaut Christina Kouch. Six hours later, they began their 203-day mission on the station, orbiting Earth 3,248 times and traveling 86.1 million miles. Koch remains aboard the orbiting laboratory for an extended mission that will provide researchers the opportunity to observe effects of long-duration spaceflight on a woman, in preparation for human missions to the Moon and Mars. She is expected to return to Earth in February 2020, almost a year after her launch.
Hague conducted three spacewalks during his mission, totaling 19 hours and 56 minutes. Ovchinin conducted one spacewalk lasting 6 hours and 1 minute.