SpaceX Successfully Launches Diverse Crew: As it took off from Kennedy Space Center at midnight, nearly 80 spectators from the UAE witnessed it live – including astronaut Sultan al-Neyadi – who is only the second Emirati to fly into space. Schools and offices around Dubai watched the launch live via broadcast from schools and offices around the globe.
SpaceX Launch Control radioed a message to the astronauts: “Welcome to orbit. If you enjoyed your ride, please don’t forget to give us five stars.” On board are NASA’s Stephen Bowen, Warren “Woody” Hoburg and Andrei Fedyaev from the Russian Air Force.
The launch was originally scheduled for Monday but was postponed due to a clogged filter in the engine ignition system. Nevertheless, this second attempt was successful and will replace the current U.S.-Russian-Japanese crew who has been aboard since October.
In 2019, Hazzaa al-Mansoori, the first Emirati astronaut, embarked on a weeklong visit to the International Space Station (ISS).
Al-Neyadi served as his backup and is an engineer by profession; upon reaching orbit he expressed gratitude in both Arabic and English. With already having a spacecraft orbiting Mars, UAE scientists hope this mission can serve as another avenue for scientific exploration.
It is noteworthy that Saudi Prince Sultan bin Salman was the first Arab astronaut, launched aboard shuttle Discovery in 1985, followed two years later by Syrian astronaut Muhammed Faris from Russia. These new crew members are scheduled to stay aboard the International Space Station for six months during which they will conduct experiments and other scientific activities.
In conclusion, SpaceX launched a successful mission to the International Space Station with four astronauts on board, including the first person from the Arab world to go on an extended months-long stay. Astronaut Sultan al-Neyadi, the second Emirati to fly to space, blasted off on a six-month mission to the space station.
Schools and offices across the United Arab Emirates broadcast the launch live, and nearly 80 spectators watched from the launch site. The other astronauts on board include NASA’s Stephen Bowen, Warren “Woody” Hoburg, and Russia’s Andrei Fedyaev.
The mission is expected to replace the current U.S.-Russian-Japanese crew at the space station. This mission marks another milestone in space exploration and scientific discovery for the UAE and the Arab world.
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