Dubai, UAE – The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, named Endeavour, atop a Falcon 9 rocket, will carry the UAE astronaut and Mission Specialist Sultan Al Neyadi, along with two NASA astronauts, Mission Commander Stephen Bowen, and Pilot Warren Hoburg, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev.
Key mission information, such as the launch time and launch opportunities, was announced during the NASA Crew-6 mission overview media briefing.
“We are proud to talk about our second mission under the UAE Astronaut Programme and Sultan’s first mission to space.Our human space programme kicked off in 2017 where we selected our first two astronauts, Hazzaa Al Mansoori and Sultan Al Neyadi. We had our first mission to the ISS in 2019, which had an impact on hundreds of thousands of people,” Salem Humaid Al Marri, Director-General, MBRSC, said at the briefing.
“Today Sultan AlNeyadi is a very capable astronaut and he, along with his colleague Hazzaa Al Mansoori have a total of 5 years of training, including training on EVAs and operations aboard the ISS,” he added.
Al Neyadi said: “The idea of waking up every morning and having access to a window like the Cupola, where one can scan the entire world in 90 minutes, is amazing, and I believe it is literally out of this world.”
He added that the trip to space by Hazzaa Al Mansoori marked the UAE’s consistent presence in space.
“Our Prime Minister promised to continue these flights, and now we’re talking about the second mission to the International Space Station,” Al Neyadi said. “This time we raised the bar to six months, and we now have two additional astronauts training with the class of ’23.”
The astronaut said he would love to see a UAE flag on the lunar surface, carried on the shoulder of a UAE astronaut.
“UAE is doing an excellent job, and I believe that in the next ten years, we will be following international efforts to go to space and push the boundaries of exploration,” Al Neyadi said.