UAE astronaut, Crew-6 mates to arrive at ISS ahead of schedule today

The mission blasted off to the orbiting laboratory aboard the Dragon Endeavour yesterday

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

By Angel Lee Tesorero

Published: Fri 3 Mar 2023, 8:17 AM

The arrival of SpaceX Crew-6 at the International Space Station is ahead of schedule today. The foursome aboard the Crew Dragon Endeavour is now due to dock at 9:43am (UAE time), SpaceX tweeted on Friday.

UAE Sultan AlNeyadi and and his Crew-6 colleagues - NASA mission commander Stephen Bowen, NASA pilot Warren Hoburg, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev – lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at 9.34am (UAE time) on Thursday.

At a press briefing held two hours after liftoff, mission ground control said the spacecraft has safely reached orbit and the crew onboard shared it was a nice and smooth ride. Benji Reed, senior director, Human Spaceflight Program at SpaceX, assured everything is in order for Friday morning’s scheduled docking despite an issue with one of the hook microsensors aboard Crew Dragon. Reed said the microsensor showed an anomaly that has been corrected.

Autonomous docking

When it arrives to the space station, the Dragon spacecraft will dock autonomously to the forward-facing port of the station’s Harmony module.

The average distance between the ISS and Earth is around 400 kilometres, at its closest approach, the ISS can be as close as about 370 kilometers from the Earth and its farthest distance, is around 460 kilometres.

The trip to the ISS is not a straight path. The microgravity laboratory is orbiting Earth every 90 minutes at a velocity of 28,000 kph and the journey to the space station is a series of rocket burns or engine firings that must be precisely timed to achieve the correct orbit

SpaceX Crew-1, the first operational crewed flight of a Crew Dragon spacecraft launched in November 2020, reached ISS in 28 hours; SpaceX Crew-2 docked after a 24-hour journey; SpaceX Crew-3 arrived after 21 hours; SpaceX Crew 4 achieved it in just 16 hours; while Spacex Crew 5 reached the ISS after 29 hours.


More news from Space