UAE announces new launch date for 6-month space mission

A total of 250 research experiments will be carried out by the team, which includes Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, during the mission to the ISS

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Photo: Twitter
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Published: Wed 22 Feb 2023, 6:43 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Mar 2023, 12:30 PM

The UAE's Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has announced a new launch date and time for the first Arab long-duration astronaut mission.

The mission will now take off on February 27 at 10.45am (UAE time). UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi and three others were originally scheduled to take off to the International Space Station on February 26.

In a blog post, Nasa said its teams and those of SpaceX and "international partners" met throughout the day Tuesday as part of the mission’s Flight Readiness Review (FRR).

"The FRR focused on the preparedness of SpaceX’s crew transportation system, the space station, and its international partners to support the flight, as well as the certification of flight readiness."

The decision to delay the mission by 24 hours was taken after the FRR.

As he arrived at the Kennedy Space Centre on Tuesday, Al Neyadi said the team is ready for the mission - "physically, mentally and technically".

Crew-6 consists of two Nasa astronauts, Mission Commander Stephen Bowen and Pilot Warren Hoburg; UAE astronaut Al Neyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, who will serve as mission specialists, to the space station for a science expedition mission. They will fly aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft Endeavour, carried by the company’s Falcon 9 rocket.

The team will spend up to six months at the space station before returning to Earth.

The mission will make the UAE only the 11th country to send an astronaut on a long-term mission to space.

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