The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in the United Arab Emirates has announced that the launch date for the first Arab long-duration astronaut mission has been changed.
The launch of Emirati astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi to the ISS is scheduled for “no earlier than February 26, 2023.”
During its six-month duration, the mission will conduct a number of experiments and conduct research, resulting in significant discoveries about space. As part of the “UAE Astronaut Programme,” which will train and prepare a group of Emirati astronauts before sending them into space to carry out a variety of scientific missions, AlNeyadi will conduct several in-depth and advanced scientific experiments during the mission.
AlNeyadi will be a part of SpaceX’s Crew-6 for Nasa. This is the agency’s sixth crew rotation flight, and it involves a US commercial spacecraft with crew aboard the microgravity laboratory for a science expedition.
Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg, two Nasa astronauts, will join AlNeyadi on the mission; and Andrey Fedyaev, a cosmonaut with Roscosmos. With the exception of Bowen, this will be everyone on the crew’s first spaceflight.
Nasa says that the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, which is called Endeavour, will launch from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a Falcon 9 rocket.
Once aboard the ISS, AlNeyadi will work as a flight engineer. This will be Bowen’s fourth excursion into space. He has completed three space shuttle missions and spent more than 40 days in space, including seven spacewalks that lasted 47 hours and 18 minutes. He will be in charge of all flight phases, from launch to re-entry, as mission commander.
As pilot, Hoburg will be in charge of the performance and systems of the spacecraft. As a mission specialist, Fedyaev will keep an eye on the spacecraft throughout the dynamic launch and re-entry phases of flight.
The UAE Astronaut Program aims to build the infrastructure necessary for human space exploration in the nation. Additionally, it aims to improve Emirati astronauts’ capabilities and enable them to operate the ISS.