UAE's Sultan Al Neyadi, Crew-6 mates float into ISS

Dubai Media Office

Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi has floated into the International Space Station (ISS), embarking on the longest space mission in Arab history.

In his first address from the International Space Station, Al Neyadi said "the UAE has taken great steps towards pushing the boundaries of space exploration... to seek new endeavours into space."

He also expressed gratitude to the UAE leadership, his family and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre for the incredible opportunity he has been given, before concluding: "Go Dragon, go Spacex".

Al Neyadi and Crew-6 mates were welcomed aboard the space station by seven current ISS occupants - three NASA crew members, including commander Nicole Aunapu Mann, the first Native American woman to fly to space, along with three Russians and a Japanese astronaut.

The team had docked at the ISS after travelling nearly 25 hours onboard the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft.

Initially, NASA and SpaceX had to delay the docking process following an issue with the spacecraft hooks.

The team blasted off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in Florida on Thursday, a few days later than originally planned due to a delay in "grounds issue". 

Earlier, in a series of updates, the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) tracked the journey of Crew-6, highlighting the "incredible moment" when Al Neyadi was "flying above the UAE".

The crew's six-month science mission will encompass about 200 experiments and technology demonstrations, ranging from research on human cell growth in space to controlling combustible materials in microgravity.

The ISS, about the length of a football field, has been continuously operated for more than two decades by a US-Russian-led consortium that includes Canada, Japan and 11 European countries.

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