Dubai: The UAE’s second astronaut, who is embarking on the first long-duration Arab astronaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS), has revealed that he has finished his training in a Nasa facility.
On Feb. 26, Sultan Al Neyadi is slated to take off for a six-month mission to the ISS.
On Thursday, he announced on social media that he has finished his pre-mission training at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) of Nasa. He said that the experience was made even more memorable when he was welcomed with a UAE flag on the NBL wall.
“Last week I finished my last NBL with Astronaut Steve Bowen. And what made the moment more special is seeing the UAE flag decorating the NBL wall. I am truly grateful to all the employees, engineers and divers in this great facility for getting us ready for the mission,” he tweeted.
He also shared images of the UAE flag on the wall of the lab, the massive neutral buoyancy pool in the facility and both Bowen and him in action during the training preparation.
It is in this NBL pool that astronauts go underwater to simulate the microgravity environment in space. The 6.2 million-gallon training pool and related testing technologies offer a controlled, secure environment for astronauts to train, execute project activities pre-space flight, and interact with a mock ISS set-up.
Al Neyadi is part of a four-man SpaceX Crew-6 mission composed of Nasa astronauts Bowen and Warren Hoburg and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev.
He will become the second Emirati in space after Hazzaa AlMansoori and will conduct “different scientific experiments and research according to the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre.