'Ahlan Wa Sahlan': UAE astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi greeted in Arabic as he arrives at ISS after 24-hour journey

Next up: A brief welcoming ceremony will be held soon after the ISS opens its hatch for Crew-6

By Angel Lee Tesorero

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Published: Fri 3 Mar 2023, 12:08 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Mar 2023, 9:42 PM

UAE astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi, along with his Crew-6 mates, safely arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) at 10.40 (UAE time).

After blasting off from Kennedy Space Centre on Thursday morning, it took their Dragon Endeavour spacecraft 24 hours to reach the orbiting laboratory.

The arrival of SpaceX Crew-6 at the ISS was supposed to be ahead of schedule, however, an issue cropped up at around 9.43am. An alert came up in a micro-sensor of one of the 12 hooks that are used for docking.

Given two hours to fix the issue, the ground control team was able to resolve the issue with a manual software override.

At 10.54am, following the completion of hard capture where 12 hooks have been driven for docking, the ground control in Houston announced: Ahlan Wa Sahlan (welcome), followed by a greeting in English and Russian, signifying the multi-national participation in this ISS mission.

The UAE has now become only the 11th country in the world that has sent an astronaut on a long-term mission to space.

What’s next

Leak checks will be conducted for around 1.5 hours before hatches are opened to allow the Crew-6 members (AlNeyadi, mission commander Stephen Bowen, Nasa pilot Warren Hoburg, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev) to board the ISS.

A brief welcoming ceremony will follow then ISS commander Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev will conduct a safety briefing.

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