Dubai: Will he 'walk' in space? This is the big question that most people have when they discuss about what UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi will do in space during the six-month long Crew-6 mission.
Well, he could be the first Arab astronaut, also referred to as “Najmonaut”, to do spacewalk. The man himself talked about the possibility of this in a video released by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre (MBRSC) just ahead of his scheduled lift-off on Monday.
Primary crew and mission specialist of Crew-6, Al Neyadi is set to become the flight engineer for Expedition 69 once aboard the ISS.
Giving an overview about the key experiments and activities he will complete aboard the International Space Station (ISS), he said in the video: “We will have the possibility to carry on EVA (extravehicular activities), work on Canadarm robotic arm and many scientific experiments.”
EVA is commonly referred to as spacewalk as it is while doing the activities outside the ISS that astronauts get the feeling of walking in space.
Canadarm is the name given to a series of specially outfitted robotic arms designed by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and installed on NASA space shuttle orbiters. On the ISS, Canadarm (shuttle-based) and Canadarm2 (ISS-based) help assemble, grow, and repair the space station.
Apart from these, there will be plenty of experiments that Al Neyadi and his three crewmates will conduct onboard the ISS.
“In some experiments, we will be the subjects on whom the experiments will be conducted. In others, there will be instruments installed aboard the ISS with sensors monitored by scientists on Earth while we will be the eyes and hands of those scientists,” he said.
According to NASA, as many as 222 science experiments and technology demonstrations will be carried out in total by Crew-6 members as part of the Expedition 69.
These include Al Neyadi conducting about 20 experiments.
According to MBRSC, some of the main fields of experiments that Al Neyadi will be part of include: cardiovascular system, epigenetics, plant biology, radiation, back pain, immune system, materials science, sleep analysis, fluid science and technical demonstration.
Al Neyadi had earlier spoken about the experiments on heart tissues as one of the most exciting ones.
“We also have maintenance tasks and we will help in expanding the station. Part of our tasks is also to communicate with Earth and with school students continuously alongside capturing images of Earth,” he said.
MBRSC and the Emirates Literature Foundation have partnered to organise student interaction sessions with Al Neyadi on every Thursday during his six-month mission.