Archive image of Al Neyadi (left) with other Crew-6 members Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has announced that astronaut UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi will join in a mission to relocate the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft’s docking port on Saturday, May 6, to make way for the arrival of an upcoming cargo spacecraft on the International Space Station (ISS).

Al Neyadi - who created history as the first Arab spacewalker during Expedition 69 recently, and who is on the longest Arab space mission for six months on ISS - will take part in the latest mission along with the Crew-6 members, NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev.

Live coverage

The live coverage of the mission will start at 3pm UAE time and will be broadcast on the website of MBRSC. The Crew-6 crew members will undock from the space-facing port of the space station’s Harmony module at 3:10pm UAE time. The spacecraft will dock again at the station’s forward Harmony port at 3:53pm UAE time.

The relocation, supported by the Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and SpaceX in Hawthorne, California, will free up Harmony’s space-facing port for the docking of the next Dragon cargo spacecraft set to launch in June.

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The zenith port on Harmony will allow the Canadarm2 robotic arm easier access to the International Space Station Roll-Out Solar Arrays, or IROSAs, that will arrive on SpaceX’s 28th commercial resupply mission for NASA for installation through a series of spacewalks.

This will be the third port relocation of a Dragon crew spacecraft, following previous relocations during the Crew-1 and Crew-2 missions.

Al Neyadi along with his Crew-6 team had launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida, USA on March 2, to commence the longest Arab space mission in history.

The UAE Astronaut Programme is one of the projects managed by MBRSC under the UAE’s National Space Programme and funded by the ICT Fund of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), which aims to support research and development in the ICT sector in the UAE and promote the country’s integration on the global stage.