The UAE astronaut, Sultan AlNeyadi, is writing a new chapter in the country’s space history with the lift-off for the historic “longest Arab space mission.”
In his ambitious journey to the International Space Station (ISS), Al Neyadi, 41, will carry the hopes and dreams of Emirati leaders, people, and all Arabs and the country’s funding father, Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
UAE astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi on SpaceX Crew-6 mission
The spacecraft lift-offed from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday, March 2, 2023 shortly before 9:40am (UAE time), NASA said on its live feed, amid an eruption of cheers at NASA’s Space Control. The Falcon rocket illuminated the night sky as it headed up the East Coast.
This will be the second launch attempt after the first has to be scrubbed in the final two minutes of the countdown over a technical fault.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was set to launch the Crew-6 Dragon spacecraft named “Endeavour” for Expedition 69 to the ISS. NASA confirmed shortly after 9:50 a.m. that the Dragon carrying the astronauts and the Falcon 9 separated as planned.
Together with his crewmates from Nasa and Roscosmos, Sultan AlNeyadi will be spending 180 days on board the orbiting laboratory of the International Space Station (ISS), conducting experiments that will significantly contribute to humanity’s understanding of life on and beyond Earth.
The six-month science mission will see experiments ranging from human cell growth in space to controlling combustible materials in microgravity.
Sultan AlNeyadi sent a message from space
UAE astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi addressed the world in Arabic from aboard the Dragon Endeavour spacecraft that is cruising towards the International Space Station.
He said: “Thank you to everyone, my parents, family, leadership and Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre. Thank you everyone who trained us and got us ready for this mission. Thanks, Nasa and Space X. Go, Dragon! Go, Falcon!”
UAE astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi will embark on a 25-hour journey to the International Space Station (ISS) along with his Crew-6 mates. NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren “Woody” Hoburg, along with UAE astronaut Al Neyadi and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev will be aboard the ISS for a six-month mission.
Dragon Endeavour will accelerate its four passengers to approximately 28,000kmph, putting it on an intercept course with the space station. They should reach the International Space Station (ISS), orbiting some 250 miles (420 km) above Earth, about 24-and-a-half hours after launch, early on Friday morning.
The reusable Falcon rocket will return to Earth, landing on a floating pontoon in the Atlantic Ocean.