UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi to head to space on February 26

The SpaceX Falcon 9 flight will lift off from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida

Sultan Al Neyadi training inside a mock-up of the Dragon crew capsule. Photo: Nasa / SpaceX
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UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi will head to the International Space Station on February 26, Nasa has said.

He will be aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that will lift off from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

The Crew-6 mission launch was initially scheduled for February 19. However, the plan changed to allow Russia to carry out a rescue mission to bring home three stranded astronauts currently on the space station.

“The Falcon 9 rocket and the Dragon Endeavour spacecraft is scheduled to launch no earlier than February 26 from Launch Complex 39A at Nasa’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida,” said Nasa.

The mission also includes Nasa astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev.

This will be the UAE's second ISS mission, after Hazza Al Mansouri spent eight days on the orbiting science laboratory in 2019.

For that mission, the Emirates teamed up with Russian space agency Roscosmos and Maj Al Mansouri set off for the ISS aboard a Soyuz rocket.

This time, the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre ― the organisation that oversees the UAE Astronaut Programme ― was able to secure a mission through US-based Axiom Space, a company that arranges private trips to space.

Updated: January 19, 2023, 7:44 AM