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Pilot Hazza Ali Almansoori. Photo: VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images

An International Space Station launch scheduled for this Wednesday will include the the 1st astronaut from the United Arab Emirates to visit the site, joined by a fellow astronaut from NASA and a Russian cosmonaut, NBC News reports.

What's happening: Hazza Ali Almansoori, a pilot from the UAE's armed forces, will blast off in a Russian Soyuz rocket at 9:57 am ET on Wednesday, and arrive at 3:45 pm. The UAE initiated its space program in 2017, shooting to reach Mars by 2021 and establish a colony there by 2117.

  • Almansoori is 1 of just 2 astronauts in the UAE's budding space program.

What they're saying per the Emirates News Agency: the 2 astronauts spoke of the upcoming launch with Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Monday.

"We are all proud of being representatives of our homeland on the International Space Station and raising the UAE flag onboard."
— Almansoori and his fellow Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi

Go deeper: Where the International Space Station is right now

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

U.S. surpasses 25 million COVID cases

A mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 22 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The U.S has confirmed more than 25 million coronavirus cases, per Johns Hopkins data updated on Sunday.

The big picture: President Biden has said he expects the country's death toll to exceed 500,000 people by next month, as the rate of deaths due to the virus continues to escalate.

GOP implosion: Trump threats, payback

Spotted last week on a work van in Evansville, Ind. Photo: Sam Owens/The Evansville Courier & Press via Reuters

The GOP is getting torn apart by a spreading revolt against party leaders for failing to stand up for former President Trump and punish his critics.

Why it matters: Republican leaders suffered a nightmarish two months in Washington. Outside the nation’s capital, it's even worse.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
6 hours ago - Economy & Business

The limits of Biden's plan to cancel student debt

Data: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax; Chart: Axios Visuals

There’s a growing consensus among Americans who want President Biden to cancel student debt — but addressing the ballooning debt burden is much more complicated than it seems.

Why it matters: Student debt is stopping millions of Americans from buying homes, buying cars and starting families. And the crisis is rapidly getting worse.