Sultan AlNeyadi and his Crew-6 colleagues 2-1677239886726
UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi and other members of the Crew-6 team during the launch rehearsal and rocket test event on Friday. Image Credit: MBRSC

Dubai: It looks all-clear for the UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi’s scheduled lift-off to space on Monday with the launch rehearsal and rocket test completion on Friday.

The static fire test of Falcon 9 rocket and dry rehearsal of Crew-6 members are complete, announced SpaceX.

SpaceX, Elon Musk’s spacecraft manufacturer Space Exploration Technologies Corp, which has collaborated with NASA for the Crew-6 mission, announced in a tweet that Crew-6, SpaceX, and NASA completed a full rehearsal of launch day activities.

Static fire test of Falcon 9 also completed ahead of the Crew-6 mission to the International Space Station (ISS), it added in another tweet.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) also tweeted these important updates that have taken the UAE one step closer to its second astronaut mission, which will see the first Arab astronaut participating in a long-haul space expedition on board ISS.

The static fire test is a vehicle ground test to check the whole preflight process and detect any potential issues. Having finished the dry dress rehearsal in their space suits in the spacecraft now vertical atop the rocket, the four-member crew including Al Neyadi looked happy and all set for the lift-off.

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As per the new target, the lift-off of SpaceX Falcon 9 with Crew-6 will take place at the Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Merritt Island, Florida. LC-39 A is the first of Launch Complex 39’s three launch pads.

The live telecast of the launch will begin from 7am UAE time while the lift-off is expected to happen at 10:45am here. MBRSC and NASA will stream it live. There will be a special screening at MBRSC.

Weather officials have predicted a 95 per cent chance of favourable weather conditions for the launch on Monday, with the cumulus cloud rule serving as the primary weather concern.

If there is any further delay, the back-up launch dates as of now are February 28, March 2,3 and 4.

Crew-6 to take us closer to Mars

NASA tweeted “With #Crew6, we’ll gather new information in experiments that will bring us closer to our goal of landing on Mars, testing microgravity’s effect on flames and immunity, as well as collecting microorganisms from outside the Space Station.”

“We want to find out if the space station releases microorganisms—and if it does, how many and how far they travel. This research could help determine whether changes are needed to crewed spacecraft and spacesuits to limit the spread of contamination from Earth on future missions,” it added, highlighting the significance of the science experiments to be conducted by Crew-6