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An Emirati astronaut wears a new spacesuit

Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyyadi will travel to the ISS on February 26.

Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyyadi appeared before the public in a new spacesuit that will take him to the International Space Station in a Dragon capsule mounted on a Falcon 9 rocket on February 26, 2023.

The astronaut is currently undergoing a mandatory two-week pre-flight quarantine. Along with 41-year-old Sultan Al Neyadi, Russia’s Andrei Fedyaev and American astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg will travel to the ISS.

The crew will spend 22 hours in flight to reach the orbiting science lab. Sultan Al Neyyadi will conduct about 20 experiments commissioned by UAE universities and will also do research work commissioned by NASA and maintain the station.

Hazzah Al Mansouri, the first Emirati to fly in space in 2019, will oversee his counterpart from the Mission Control Center. The spacecraft launch will be broadcast live on the websites of NASA, SpaceX and MBRSC, as well as on social media.

Sultan Al Nayyadi will stay on the ISS for a full six months. The UAE will thus become the 11th country in history to send its citizen on such a long-term space voyage.

Earlier, the Emirati said he would not observe the fasting prescribed for Muslims during his space mission because it was not mandatory in his case.

“I fall under the definition of a traveler who is allowed not to fast. Generally speaking, fasting is optional for anyone who is not feeling well. So if anything threatens our mission or team members, we are allowed to eat enough food,” the astronaut said.

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