Dubai: UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi lifted off to the International Space Station for the historic ‘longest Arab mission in space’. After a scrubbed launch of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission on Monday, Al Neyadi, 41, and the other three crew members lifted off on top of a Falcon 9 rocket at 9.34am UAE time from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, US.
More on UAE Mission 2
- Hatch, Harmony, Cupola: Jargon to know when Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi reaches International Space Station for UAE Space Mission 2
- 6 months in space: What will UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi do on the International Space Station?
- How UAE’s Astronaut Programme demonstrates country’s boundless ambitions
- From Al Ain boy to ‘Sultan of Space,’ here is all about UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi
Here are the events as they happened today:
Welcome ceremony aboard the ISS
Crew-6 is safely on their way to the space station, Benji Reed, senior director, Human Spaceflight Program, SpaceX, said at a post-launch press conference broadcast by NASA.
Crew-6 is looking to dock to Harmony module on ISS at 10.17am GST on Friday, March 3, said Steve Stich, manager, Commercial Crew Programme, Kennedy.
The hatch opening is scheduled at 11.55am here and there will be a welcome ceremony aboard the ISS at 12.40pm here.
Mission crew patch explained
Mohammed AlBulooshi, Manager, Space Operations Section, MBRSC, speaks about the mission and Al Neyadi’s role.
UAE leaders congratulate Sultan Al Neyadi
Sheikh Hamdan followed the launch of Crew 6 live from MBRSC
Zero gravity environment
The Suhail mascot floats aboard the Dragon spacecraft indicating the zero gravity environment. Suhail is accompanying astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi for the longest Arab space mission in history.
Journey to ISS
Flight profile of Dragon and Crew-6 as they travel to the International Space Station
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, follows the live launch of the longest Arab space mission in history during a visit to MBRSC
Sultan Al Neyadi's first message from space
I would like to say thank you to everybody. Thanks to my parents, my family, thanks to our leadership, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre for the trust
“I would like to say thank you to everybody . Thanks to my parents, my family, thanks to our leadership, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre for the trust. Thank you (to) everybody who trained us and got us ready for this mission. This is incredible…launch was incredible…amazing. Thank you so much. And last but not least, thank you, NASA, thank you SpaceX for flying us to space. Go Dragon! Go SpaceX!”
Sultan Al Neyadi introduces 5th crew member
Surprise! Sultan Al Neyadi introduces fifth crew member on board Dragon. Suhail, the mascot of MBRSC in its own SpaceX spacesuit.
It will be the zero-gravity indicator during the UAE Mission 2. The mascot had accompanied Hazzaa Al Mansoori in the UAE’s first space mission in 2019. It’s named after the second brightest star in the sky.
The Dragon nosecone open sequence has begun
Dragon separation confirmed
Falcon 9’s first stage booster has landed
The crew is now in orbit
Launch escape system disarmed. Successful landing of the booster into the space.
Dragon capsule and Falcon rocket separate successfully
Main engine cutoff and stage separation confirmed
Second stage engine burn underway.
Media members watch live coverage of space launch from Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre.
Liftoff! UAE makes another giant leap into space
10 minutes to lift-off
Good luck! Godspeed and enjoy the ride! SpaceX wishes Crew-6
All system remain go for launch
Everything's still looking good for launch of Falcon-9 and Dragon endeavor just under 15 minutes from now. Everybody looks pretty calm and chill, given that they are going to space.
MBRSpaceCentre following the launch of CREW-6
What is astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi carrying to the International Space Station during the longest Arab space mission in history?
24.5 hour flight to the International Space Station
Once Crew-6 arrives at the International Space Station, they will officially become Expedition 68 Flight Engineers. Once onboard, they'll do something known as a direct handover, basically saying that Crew-5 and Crew-6 will be aboard the space station all together until Crew-5 comes home. Later, the Crew-6 will start the experiments for their Expedition 69.
T minus 29 and a half minutes
“At this point, if we hear a hold for any reason, we will have to stand down and target our backup launch opportunity tomorrow, just under 24 hours from tonight's planned launch
Propellant loading has begun
“Tonight, we're expecting acceptable weather conditions for launch both at surface level and upper altitudes. Once again, our probability of violation of those conditions is only 5%…Today we have an instantaneous launch window at 12:34am. Eastern Time,” Kate Tice, SpacX engineer.
“Once we begin propellant load, there is no opportunity to change the t zero. The timing for Dragon to rendezvous with the International Space Station is down to the exact seconds. So today we only get one chance. But the good news at T minus 51 minutes and 32 seconds…we are go for launch.”
Up next is final poll for launch
What is Launch Escape System?
The Crew Dragon’s launch escape system (LES), consists of a set of eight SuperDraco engines. It is integrated into the spacecraft’s body. It has been armed in preparation for launch. The LES is designed to separate the spacecraft from the Falcon 9 rocket and carry the crew away to safety in the unlikely event of an emergency.
Crew-6 members close their helmet visors
Crew-6 members have closed their helmet visors and Dragon launch escape system is getting armed
Launch director gives final go for launch
Launch director gives final go for launch and propellant load; Crew access arm is retracting.
Nasa SpaceX Crew-6 is ready
NASA’s partnership with the UAE
UAE Mission 2: Just one hour to lift-off!
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission are scheduled to blast off at 9.34am UAE time from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, US.
Ready for launch
Mission Control Houston and The International Space Station flight control team are ready for launch. The crew in orbit is currently in a sleep period and they are scheduled to wake up at midnight Central Time.
Key milestones for the Crew-6 mission launch
'We’re quite excited for this six-month duration mission'
Speaking to NASA TV, Salem Al Marri, director general of MBRSC, said: “There's a lot we plan to do during this mission and learn from him and from the six-month mission. There's a lot of science we're going to be doing, a lot of human life sciences with over 20 different experiments with UAE universities, and international universities. So that's something really big for us.”
“We also have a very in-depth education programme where we will try and reach every school kid in the UAE, doing simple science experiments, simple YouTube videos. And of course, other than that, we'll do a lot of events where we have these live chats with astronaut with the astronaut from space with our kids and public...We’re quite excited for this six-month duration mission.”
Crew-6 experiments on ISS
Here’s what NASA Space-X Crew 6 will do once they reach the International Space Station
Highlights inside the Dragon spacecraft
The astronaut's diaper
What happens when an astronaut wants to use the toilet while in flight? Astronauts use a diaper called MAG. The Maximum Absorbency Garment is the astronaut diaper that is worn whenever astronauts can’t remove their spacesuits for long stretches of time.
Constant monitoring from Mission Control Houston
Mission Control Houston constantly monitors Crew-6 mission. Employees in the commercial crew programme are working behind the scenes to make today's mission possible.
Hatch is closed
SpaceX closeout crew closes the hatch.
Why sea conditions should also be fine for the launch?
“Should for some reason Dragon needs to abort off the top of the Falcon 9, it would need to splashdown somewhere along the eastern seaboard. And you got to have good weather conditions because those astronauts will be landing in the ocean in the case of emergency and they could be there for an hour or two before they are rescued from the capsule.”
Up next is hatch close
4 suit leak checks, which included inflating the spacesuits, have been cleared. Up next is hatch close
It’s a go for suit leak check
Seats are rotated and reclined for lift-off. Now they are on to suit leak checks. No malfunction found. It’s a go for suit leak check
Crew-6 members wave as the NASA camerawoman leaves their capsule
SpaceX is now doing some of their checks and operations in parallel rather than sequentially and that will reduce the total time of the operation starting right now by about 27 minutes
Explained: A clogged filter was the reason the previous flight was scrubbed
A big thumbs-up
Sultan gives a big thumbs-up he as walks through the White Room of the crew access arm to enter the capsule
Walking through the 'White Room'
Crew-6 members are walking through the “White Room” on the crew access arm to enter their Dragon capsule Endeavour
Tower elevator to the access arm
Here is a look at the tower elevator which is dubbed as the space elevator with ground button denoting Earth and the 255th floor button denoting Space
Crew-6 members take the “space elevator”
Customary 'Astro lean'
Crew-6 members perform the customary “astro lean” looking up at their rocket in their spacesuits just before the crew ingress
Best of luck to Crew-6
Salem Al Marri, director general of MBRSC, tweets exciting and nervous moments and wishes best of luck to Crew-6
Crew-6 arrive at Launch Complex 39A
Astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi and his Crew-6 colleagues arrive at Launch Complex 39A and have a final look at the Falcon 9 rocket before heading to the Crew Access Arm.
Approaching the launch pad
The Crew-6 members are approaching the launch pad in Launch Complex 39 A at the Kennedy Space Centre
Al Neyadi’s family bids bye
Al Neyadi is travelling to the launch pad in this sleek Tesla bearing the number plate CRW DR6N. Al Neyadi’s family bids bye to him as the Crew-6 leave for the launch pad
Look! A black Tesla customised to carry Crew-6 flying on Dragon Endeavour bearing the number plate CRW DR6N
We are going today!
Yalla! We are going today! Sultan Al Neyadi tells family members
Crew-6 walk out
Crew-6 members meet their families to bid bye for the second time in three days
Crew-6 members walk out of the crew quarters
Crew-6 members walk out of the crew quarters inside the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building for the second time.
We are all ready!
The primary crew
'Sultan of Space'
Final preparations in their spacesuits
UAE's first astronaut Hazzaa Al Mansoori, the backup of Sultan Al Neyadi in Crew-6 mission is spending a light moment with Al Neyadi and the other three crew members as they do final preparations in their spacesuits before stepping out for the historic launch of the longest space mission by an Arab.