UAE astronaut jokes that he 'didn't intend to come home this soon'

Sultan Al Neyadi says crew took the launch delay in their stride

Powered by automated translation

Sultan Al Neyadi joked that he promised his children he would be home from space soon — but not the same day he was due for lift-off.

The Emirati astronaut said the Crew-6 team took Monday's postponement — which saw the six-month mission to the International Space Station called off with less than three minutes to go — in their stride.

"I promised my kids to return soon and I didn’t mean this soon!" he wrote on Twitter.

"Anyway, our crew is safe and our spirits are high. A launch scrub is one of the things that we are trained to do, as crew safety is always a priority."

The Crew-6 astronauts sat in the Dragon capsule for several hours while the Falcon 9 rocket that carries it was emptied of fuel to allow for a safe exit.

The mission is provisionally scheduled for 9.34am UAE time on Thursday, pending a probe into the fault that affected Monday's take-off.

Updated: February 28, 2023, 6:18 AM