The UAE’s first Emirati Astronaut Hazzaa Al Mansouri has successfully landed on back to earth in the Kazakhstan countryside earlier this afternoon.
Hazzaa returned home after spending eight days at the International Space Station. Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and American astronaut Nick Hague, accompanied Hazzaa on his return journey.
Watch the astronauts landing on earth here.
Before the final departure flight, Hazzaa recorded a short video with the UAE flag in the background to thank everyone who made the mission possible.
Hazzaa said "Today I am proud because the ambition of Sheikh Zayed, who dreamed we would send someone to space and who taught us that nothing is impossible, have been realised. This is a big responsibility and honour for me and I feel as though I didn’t reach space alone, rather all the sons of Zayed are with me. With every passing day we learn more about his foresight, his love for his people and his nation."
He continues, "My brothers, my arrival in space could not have been possible without your strong support represented by President Sheikh Khalifa and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and the head of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, who oversaw the centre and its programmes, namely the UAE Astronaut Programme that Sultan and Hazza became the first outcome of. Our generous Sheikhs, thank you. Thank you for your boundless support because without it, the UAE’s first space mission would not have been possible.I hope I have met your expectations. And I hope the UAE’s first space mission is a source of pride for the Arab World."
In celebrations of the successful return, the local telecoms have changed the network names to “AstroLanded".