UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi lifts off into space


President Sheikh Mohamed tells of ‘great pride’ at space mission

President Sheikh Mohamed  said Sultan Al Neyad’s successful space launch is a source of “great pride” for the UAE.  “I join the nation in congratulating Sultan Al Neyad as he begins his groundbreaking mission on the International Space Station,” Sheikh Mohamed said.  “His inspirational achievement is a source of great pride for the UAE and another milestone in the journey of our nation and the aspirations of our people.”

SpaceX Dragon: a spacecraft like no other

With touchscreen equipment and a working toilet, SpaceX’s Dragon capsule bears little resemblance to the cramped and aging spacecraft of yesteryear.  In fact, only four of the seven slots for Thursday’s launch were occupied, giving the Crew-6 astronauts plenty of room.  In zero gravity, astronauts can move around the cabin during their 2

-hour journey to the  ISS. Unlike  Russia’s cramped Soyuz pod, the crew can remove their spacesuits and wear overalls, allowing them to use the bathroom. Since  its first successful spacecraft flight in 2020,  Dragon has carried 30 people into orbit.  Astronaut Robert Behnken,  who participated in a test flight in 2020, gave a live tour of the space station. 

 “We each have a window to see what’s going on on both sides, so it’s really cool,” he said.

Sultan Al Neyadi’s first message from space 

Sultan Al Neyadi spoke excitedly from inside the Dragon capsule as it entered orbit.  “Thank God we made it to space,” he said. “I want to thank everyone, my parents, my family, our management, the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center for the trust and everyone who trained us and prepared us  for this launch.  And finally thanks to NASA and SpaceX. 

Dr Al Neyadi carried a stuffed toy called Suhaili as a zero-gravity indicator. It was seen floating in the cockpit.  Hazza Al Mansouri, who in 2019 became the first Emirati to travel into space. , took the same toy with him on a mission along with “Let me  introduce you to Crew Five. His name is Suhail, which is the Arabic name for the star Canopus,” said Dr Al Neyadi. “In the Middle East we wait for the appearance of Canopus because it indicates the end of summer and the beginning of  cool weather. “This is Suhail’s second flight as he flew with Hazza Al Mansour in 2019. “Many people think about Suhail as an alien, but to me he’s from Earth – in a space suit – and he has high ambitions  “Thanks again and I’ll talk to you from the ISS.”

Dragon capsule and Falcon rocket separate successfully

The Dragon capsule carrying the astronauts  separated from the Falcon 9 rocket as planned.  The capsule is now moving into space at a speed of about 7500 km/h.  The reusable Falcon 9 landed back on Earth and landed on a floating SpaceX pontoon off the coast of Florida.

Falcon 9 fuelled as launch set to get a ‘go’ in a few minutes

The SpaceX Falcon 9 is refueled, with only a few minutes until liftoff.  The mission is still “go” now, with all systems in place.

A beautiful night to make history, says Hazza Al Mansouri

Less than an hour before liftoff, UAE astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri said it was a perfect night for space.  Maj Al Mansouri, interviewing Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center Director General Salem Al Marri live on NASA TV, said the long wait is almost over. “Sultan [Al Neyadi] is very excited about this launch because it’s his first mission and Woody [Hoburg], so they can’t wait to experience zero gravity and start science experiments,” Maj Al Mansouri said. , who was in Florida at the beginning. “It’s a nice night to start, so hopefully it will happen. We look forward to flooding them.”

The rocket is scheduled to lift off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 9:3am. GST  Mr. Al Marri said that the scientific experiments conducted by Dr. Al Neyad during his stay in the International Space Station provide valuable information about the effects of space on the human body. “We hope to learn a lot from this mission,” he said.  “There are many life sciences,  more than 20 different experiments with UAE universities and international universities, so it is something really big for us.  “We have a comprehensive educational program that aims to reach all schools in the UAE through simple tests and YouTube videos. “There will be real-time conversations with the astronauts, so we’re excited about this six-month mission.”

Crew access arm retracted 

The crew access arm – the bridge  astronauts use to board the spacecraft – is retracted as an elevator approaches. 

 United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi and his three teammates are less than 

0 minutes into their space flight.

Sultan Al Neyadi’s family at launch site in Florida 

United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan Al Neyad’s family, including his father and some of his six children, are in Florida to watch his spacewalk.  Many of his cousins ​​and friends are also involved in the launch.  They arrived in Florida a week ago to support Dr. Al Neyad.

Dragon capsule hatch now closed

 The ground crew begins refueling the rocket, with less than two hours left until liftoff.

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