ISLAMABAD: For the first time in the country’s history, an Emirati astronaut will blast into space in April 2019 aboard a spacecraft piloted by Russia Federal Space Agency Roscosmos to visit the International Space Station, Gulf News reported.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, tweeted that the historic first trip into space is now a go after UAE and Russia inked a cooperation agreement.

The Government of Dubai Media Office confirmed that the Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, signed a cooperation agreement to send the first Emirati astronaut into space to participate in scientific research as part of the Russian space mission to the International Space Station aboard the Soyuz-MS spacecraft.

“The UAE has signed a historic agreement to send the first Emirati astronaut to the International Space Station. The journey that we began 12 years ago is beginning to bear fruit,” Shaikh Mohammad said.