New launch date set for astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi's ISS mission


Emirati Astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi arrived at the Kennedy Space Centre along with Crew-6 as the launch of the historic International Space Station (ISS) mission was rescheduled to February 27.

During a flight readiness media briefing, SpaceX said they needed "the extra time" for launch preparations, moving the date of the first Arab long-duration astronaut mission to February 27 at 10:45 am (UAE time).

In a series of tweets, the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) confirmed the news, adding that the live telecast of the launch will begin at 7:30 am. 

Adnan Al Rayes, Mission Director of the UAE Astronaut Programme, confirmed being ready for the UAE's second astronaut mission, noting that it took five years of preparations.

Alongside Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg, and Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, Al Neyadi will be carrying out 19 science experiments assigned to him by several UAE universities.

International Space Station Deputy Programme Manager Dana Wigel explained that Crew- 6 will undergo a "dry dress" on Friday, February 24, whereby the astronauts will go through a detailed step-by-step practice of the launch day. Following that they will be able to spend time with their families before departing for the mission. 

Al Rais added that the "scientific community in the UAE, including researchers and students, will be taking part in the mission, which includes an educational and outreach programme".

"An MBRSC team from the Mission Control Centre in Dubai will also support the mission while another team will be dispatched to Houston," he added.

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