Dubai: UAE astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi is headed to the International Space Station (ISS) for a six-month mission no earlier than February 26, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) tweeted on Thursday.
AlNeyadi, who will become the second Emirati in space after Hazzaa AlMansoori, will conduct “different scientific experiments and research”, MBRSC added.
AlNeyadi is part of the four-man SpaceX Crew-6 mission composed of NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev. This will be the first spaceflight for Hoburg, Fedyaev and AlNeyadi, and the fourth mission to space for Bowen.
The Falcon 9 launch rocket and the Dragon Endeavour spacecraft that will bring the crew to the ISS will be launched from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.
The mission is NASA’s (US space agency) sixth crew rotation flight involving a US commercial spacecraft carrying crew for a science expedition aboard the microgravity laboratory.
First Arab on long space mission
AlNeyadi is set to become the first Arab astronaut to conduct a long-duration space mission. He and AlMansoori, who was the first Emirati who flew to ISS for an eight-day mission in September 2019, have completed the European Space Agency (ESA) Columbus training for the SpaceX Crew 6 mission.
Once aboard the space station, AlNeyadi will become a flight engineer for Expedition 69.
The upcoming mission will also make the UAE only the eleventh country in the world to send its astronauts on a long-term mission to space. According MBRSC, AlNeyadi “will conduct numerous in-depth and advanced scientific experiments as part of the second mission of the UAE Astronaut Programme that will pave the way for future UAE missions and further push the capabilities for journey beyond Earth.”