UAE Flag Day: Etihad Airways sends country's flag into space

To mark the national celebration and the UAE's 50th anniversary, the airline has taken the nation's flag to new heights

Etihad Airways has taken UAE Flag Day to new heights by launching the country's flag into space.

The national airline of the UAE worked in collaboration with Send Into Space, a high-altitude balloon operator, to launch the flag to the edge of space, reaching an altitude of 32,182 metres above the Earth.

The flag travelled at a speed of 5.5 metres-per-second, on a flight that lasted two hours and 52 minutes. At its lowest point, the outside temperature reached -62ºC.

The journey was documented in a video, released on Etihad’s social media channels on Wednesday, to mark UAE Flag Day.

“The sky is not the limit for the UAE,” Etihad said in a tweet sharing the video. “In this 50th year, we are raising it high and taking the pride of the nation, the UAE flag, all the way into space!”

The video also features four young Emiratis, who share their hopes for the future of space exploration.

“I want to be the pilot on the UAE’s first passenger flight to the moon,” says one boy.

“I wish to be the first female Emirati astronaut on Mars,” a girl says.

The UAE became the first Arab country to send a probe to Mars when Hope started orbiting the planet in February.

The mission is part of the UAE's ambitious and expanding space programme, which this week announced its intention to visit Venus and explore seven asteroids in the Asteroid Belt.

What is UAE Flag Day?

Flag Day was first celebrated in 2013.

The idea was conceived by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, to celebrate the accession of Sheikh Khalifa as the President in 2004.

It is commemorated every year on the anniversary, November 3. It is not a public holiday.

Updated: November 3rd 2021, 3:05 PM