NASA Television to Cover Return of Astronaut Nick Hague, Crewmates

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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 September 25 with NASA astronaut Jessica Meir and Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos.

Get breaking news, images and features from the space station on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. He has done seven live video and radio sessions with the UAE public.

The 35-year-old former military pilot's whirlwind mission has had wall-to-wall coverage in Arab media.

Mr al-Mansoori, the first of two men chosen by the United Arab Emirates to fly to the space station, is coming back after an eight-day mission while space veteran Mr Ovchinin and Mr Hague, who was on his maiden flight, are coming back after spending six months at the station.

Landing preparations on the ISS will begin today evening, as the astronauts onboard prepare the cargo and carry out any remaining technical or mechanical work on their return vehicle.

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After postlanding medical checks, Hague will return to Houston, and Ovchinin and Almansoori will return to Star City, Russia.

While on board, Mansoori donned Emirati dress, treated crew members to local snacks and participated in scientific experiments including a time-perception study that saw him sport a blindfold. Hague is completing his second flight in space, while Ovchinin is finishing his third space journey.

The first Arab to reach the ISS, Al Mansoori is expected to take off from the space station in the Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft at around 11.36am UAE time, and will touchdown in Kazakhstan at around 3pm.

The ISS - a rare example of cooperation between Russian Federation and the West - has been orbiting Earth at about 28,000 kilometres (17,000 miles) an hour since 1998.

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