The official countdown begins: All systems gearing up for Emirates’ next big space mission – here’s the latest update
Today, the UAE hit the stars again – astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi launched into space to begin the longest Arab space mission in history.
AlNeyadi is the second Emirati to carry the UAE flag into space and will become the Arab world’s first long-duration mission specialist. He will spend 180 days in the orbiting laboratory of the International Space Station (ISS), with crews from NASA and Roscosmos, conduct experiment This will greatly advance human understanding of life on and off Earth.
harrij times All on deck, bringing you live updates from the ground station at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) in Dubai and the launch site at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA.
The official countdown starts here:
10.16am: Two space suits
AlNeyadi and his Crew-6 colleagues have two spacesuits. They are now worn inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft during launch and ascent into space. During re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, they will wear the same clothes on the way home.
Another set is designed for spacewalks or extravehicular activities (EVA), which NASA calls the EVA suit, which is actually a miniature spaceship shaped to conform to the human body to protect astronauts from radiation, Damage from dust, debris, extreme temperatures while in space or on the moon.
Temperatures on spacewalks can range from as low as -121 degrees Celsius to as high as 121 degrees Celsius in sunlight. EVA suits provide proper pressure to the astronauts’ bodies and provide them with drinking water and breathing oxygen.
AlNeyadi trained for spacewalks.
10:10 a.m.: Falcon 9 now
The Dragon spacecraft Endeavor’s launch escape system is now ready. NASA said it took about 12 minutes from liftoff to reach orbit, and the astronauts were able to escape safely in the unlikely event of an emergency. RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene) loading and first stage liquid oxygen loading have begun.
The crew access arms have been retracted and the astronauts have closed their visors. The Dragon launch escape system will now arm itself in the unlikely event of an accident. After that, SpaceX will begin loading propellant into the Falcon 9 rocket for launch.
9:50 a.m.: “Ready to launch”
Commander Stephen Bowen has confirmed that SpaceX’s Dragon Endeavor spacecraft is ready for launch. The weather remains favorable and the team is on track to launch at 10.45am (UAE time).
SpaceX tweeted a clip of the astronauts waving goodbye to Earth:
In less than an hour, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will blast off from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
About 25 hours after liftoff, the crew will dock Endeavor at the forward port of the space station’s Harmony module.
9.43am: ‘Till we meet again’
9.35am: Ground crew in action
All eyes are on the monitors in MBRSC’s ground control room as the crew keeps an eye on the mission.
Here’s what’s going on behind the scenes:
Outside the control room, top officials at the center were speaking with the media to share more details about the mission and the latest developments from the department.
9.30am: The sky is still beautiful
Weather officials continue to predict a 95 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for the SpaceX Crew-6 launch from Kennedy Space Center.
The crew is seated and secured inside their Dragon Endeavor spacecraft in preparation for the 25-hour journey to the International Space Station. About 45 minutes before liftoff, SpaceX launch directors will vote on mission managers to see if they are ready to launch.
“If the decision to ‘begin launch’ is successfully made, the crew entry arms will retract, the crew will close their masks, the launch escape system will be activated in the unlikely event that SpaceX will begin launching the Falcon 9 on a loaded propellant rocket,” NASA said.
9.21am: Astronaut training
More than an hour before the launch, power was picking up in Florida. Experts on the ground share their insights on what these space missions mean for the nation and the world.
“It’s a big responsibility for us. We started this astronaut program in 2017. We wanted to have a sustainable program, a program that would have a positive impact on human spaceflight. So we chose our spaceflight crew. We make sure they are training with NASA and Roscosmos. They receive full training to become astronauts who can contribute to the advancement of spaceflight. So this mission is the realization of that vision today ,” Al Marri said.
9:10 a.m.: An international mission
For NASA, international partnerships are the “lifeblood” of its Commercial Crew Program. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said: “When we go back to the moon, it’s (no longer) just the U.S. government, it’s now an international mission. It’s a public-private partnership of our going back to the moon and then back to Mars.” This particular case … the crew going to the International Space Station (ISS) was a bit of both.”
9.05am: All eyes on the ship
The hatch of the Dragon spacecraft Endeavor is now closed. Liftoff is about a two-hour drive from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Here’s a photo MBRSC shared earlier:
8.53am: The Twitterverse is buzzing
The space mission has been the trending topic on Twitter for hours, with thousands of tweets tagged “Zayed’s ambition”, “Sultan AlNeyadi”, “Crew-6”, “UAE2Space” and others.
All of the UAE’s extraordinary milestones – from Hazzaa AlMansoori’s historic flight to missions to Mars and the Moon – have attracted millions of views and readers from around the world. Expect this new epic odyssey to be no exception.
8.45am: Exciting space discoveries
Crew-6’s six-month space mission included more than 200 scientific experiments that could lead to exciting new discoveries.
8.38am: Look up at the rocket
Here’s how AlNeyadi completed the pre-launch tradition upon his arrival at the complex:
The weather is 95% favorable. By launch time, temperatures at the launch site will hover around 18 degrees Celsius, with wisps or plumes of clouds overhead under the stars. Surface wind speeds ranged from calm to 8 kilometers per hour.
Emirati astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi and his Crew-6 mates are now aboard the Dragon spacecraft Endeavour. NASA said there were “no issues” with the launch configuration communications check. The seat is now rotating into the launch position.
Seating order inside Endeavor (from left): Mission Specialist Andrey Fedyaev, Pilot Woody Hoburg, Commander Stephen Bowen and Mission Specialist Sultan AlNeyadi.
There are still two and a half hours until liftoff.
Media organizations from all over the country gathered at the MBRSC ground station, ready to document history as it happened.
Here’s KT reporter Nandini Sircar at work:
Before heading to the launch pad, AlNeyadi and his crew waved and thanked their family, friends and support team members for gathering to see them off. They then board a custom white Tesla Model X for the roughly 20-minute drive to the launch pad. Crew vehicles travel in the convoy, including support team members and security personnel.
Here’s a video of AlNeyadi saying goodbye to his loved ones:
Crew-6 astronauts take their seats on the spaceship.
Members of Space X Crew-6 are now aboard the Dragon spacecraft Endeavour. When crew members board the aircraft, their seats are configured in an upright position.
Before the side hatch of the spacecraft closes, the seat will rotate into a reclined position for flight.
All four crew members signed off on the interior of the “white room,” an area at the end of the crew access arm that provides access to the spacecraft, according to NASA.
Astronauts will follow a series of traditions prior to liftoff. One done, three to go:
7.57am: Now at the launch site
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 — Stephen Bowen, Warren “Woody” Hoburg, Sultan AlNeyadi and Andrey Fedyaev — has arrived at Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A, and SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, named Endeavor, is ready Good to have a launch there.
7.51am: Crew-6 on the way to the launch pad
7.40am: ‘It all started with Zayed’s ambition’
Today, another historic moment is unfolding in the UAE. With excitement hanging over the country, MBRSC shared a video of how the UAE’s space dream began and how far the young nation has come: