(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) UAE Space Agency has responded to reports about sending a manned mission to Mars.
In a statement issued by the agency on Saturday, it denied the false reports about sending the first Arab astronaut to Mars, confirming that as of now, UAE was focused on launching the first Emirati into space this September.
Emirati astronautHazza Al Mansooriwas chosen for the eight-day space mission at the International Space Station.
The UAE's first Emirati astronaut is undergoing final training sessions in Russia ahead of his historic mission to the International Space Station on September 25.
He will also be the first Arab to reach the International Space Station (ISS).
Al Mansouri will travel to the ISS on the Soyuz MS-15 mission, which will take off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
"In the training, we simulate the processes of taking off, reaching the destination and returning, and how to act in unusual situations or emergencies. Wish us luck," he said in an Instagram video posted during Ramadan.
A Russian commander, Oleg Skripochka, and an American flight engineer, Jessica Meir, will be on board with Al Mansouri.
The 34-year-old, who is a former military fighter pilot.