UAE in space: Astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri arrives on the ISS

The Emirati made history as he arrived at the International Space Station early on Thursday morning

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The first Emirati astronaut was beginning his first day on board the International Space Station on Thursday after floating through the hatch at 2.20am UAE time.

Maj Hazza Al Mansouri greeted the world with a 'salaam alaikum' from the ISS, eight hours after a historic blast off from Earth.

"We are grateful to have reached the ISS and ilhamdillah everything is good," he said in Arabic.

"The Earth is beautiful from this place. It is small but I can see a small part of it.

"God protect you. Send my regards to the people of the UAE."

He and fellow astronauts, Russian commander Oleg Skripochka and Nasa’s Jessica Meir, embraced the existing six crew and gathered together in front of the live stream cameras to Earth, beaming with pride.

Major Al Mansouri will stay on for eight days, returning to Earth on October 3.