Less than 24 hours remain for the UAE to undertake the Arab world’s first long-duration space mission, and excitement is running high for the launch of the landmark mission.
The mission was given an official ‘Go’ today, and Emirati astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi – the UAE’s second ever – is all set for takeoff. The ‘Launch Readiness Review’ for Nasa’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission to the ISS has been completed, with liftoff expected to occur at 1.45am EST (10.45am UAE time) on Monday, February 27, from the Kennedy Space Centre’s’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida.
Favourable weather appears to be in the cards, with officials saying there is a 95 per cent chance of good conditions for the planned launch window. The launch weather officer mentioned the possibility of a cumulus cloud that could drift at the “wrong time” – but it’s “very unlikely,” the officer clarified.
As Crew-6 prepares to pave history for the nation, Dubai’s Crown Prince, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has taken to Twitter to send the Emirati astronaut and his team the very best of wishes as he embarks upon his journey.
“Inspired by the late Sheikh Zayed’s vision, Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi is set to embark on a 6-month mission to the International Space Station”, Sheikh Hamdan tweeted.
“We are proud of Sultan, MBRSC and everyone who aspires to achieve the best for the UAE.”
The crew will dock at approximately 2.38am EST (11.38am) UAE time on Tuesday, February 28. They will remain onboard the microgravity laboratory for up to six months.