UAE astronaut’s mission: From riding a custom Tesla to a 25-hour space journey; how next 2 days will unfold for AlNeyadi

Before leaving for the launchpad, the crew will interact with their family, friends, and support team members who will gather to see them off

Follow us on Google News-khaleejtimes

File photo
File photo

Sahim Salim

Published: Wed 1 Mar 2023, 12:58 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Mar 2023, 12:16 PM

All systems are looking good for the launch of Crew-6 to the International Space Station on Thursday, March 2. Nasa astronauts Stephen Bowen, mission commander, and Warren Hoburg, pilot, along with UAE astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev – who join as mission specialists – will blast off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft from Launch Complex 39A from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

Before leaving for the launchpad, AlNeyadi and his crew members will interact with their family, friends, and support team members who will gather to see them off. They will then get into their customised white Tesla Model X vehicles for the approximate 20-minute ride to the pad.

Here is how the next two days will unfold (UAE timings; subject to change based on real-time operations)

Thursday, March 2

  • 9.34am: Launch
  • 11.30am: Post-launch Press conference
  • 25-hour cruise through space

Friday, March 3

  • 10.17am: Docking to space-facing port of the Harmony module on the ISS
  • 11.55am: Hatch opening
  • 12.40pm: Welcome ceremony.

Mission milestones, sequence

  • Crew suit donning and checkouts
  • Crew transport to launch pad
  • Crew ingress
  • Seats rotated and reclined
  • Suit leak checks
  • Hatch closes on Dragon
  • Propellant load and launch ‘Go’/’No go’ poll
  • Crew access arm retracts
  • Dragon launch escape system is armed
  • Falcon 9 rocket propellant loading begins
  • First stage liquid oxygen loading begins
  • Second stage liquid oxygen loading begins
  • Falcon 9 begins engine chill prior to launch
  • Propellant load complete; Dragon switches to internal power
  • Command flight computer conducts final prelaunch checks
  • SpaceX launch director verifies go for launch
  • Liftoff!

Mission specs: What you need to know

  • Liftoff: March 2, 9.34am
  • Backup opportunity: March 3, 9.11am
  • Launchpad: Launch Complex 39A, Kennedy Space Centre
  • Spaceflight duration: 24.5 hours to the International Space Station
  • Rocket: Falcon 9
  • Spacecraft: Dragon Endeavour, which previously flew Demo-2, Crew-2, and Axiom Space’s Ax-1 to and from the space station
  • Crew: 4
  • Mission duration: 6 months
  • Experiments: Over 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations

What happens after 6 months

  • Dragon Endeavour will autonomously undock with the four crew members aboard
  • It will depart the space station and reenter Earth’s atmosphere
  • Splashdown is just off Florida’s coast
  • A SpaceX recovery vessel will pick up the crew
  • Crew will be helicoptered back to shore.


More news from Space