UAE space mission live updates: Sultan Al Neyadi's launch set for Thursday
Launching humans into space on top of a rocket filled with tonnes of explosive fuel is no easy task.
One small technical issue or unsuitable weather can create chaos for the crew as well as ground teams.
That is why crew capsules always have an abort system built in to prevent any harm to the astronauts.
UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi and his three crew mates will take off on a Falcon 9 rocket on Thursday, 9.34am GST.
Their Dragon capsule is fitted with an abort system in case of an emergency.
“The launch abort system is a crew safety system built into the Dragon spacecraft, used to quickly separate Dragon from Falcon 9 in the unlikely event of an emergency,” SpaceX says on its website.
“In the unlikely event of an emergency, Dragon’s launch abort system can quickly separate the spacecraft from Falcon 9.
“Using its SuperDraco engines, Dragon will propel itself away from the launch vehicle.”
Before crewed missions by SpaceX began in 2020, the company carried out a launch abort demonstration to make sure the system worked.
In a video that was live-streamed by SpaceX, engineers simulated an emergency with Falcon 9 about 84 seconds into the flight.
The Dragon capsule commanded the rocket to shut down its engines as part of the escape sequence, before separating itself from it.
The capsule then deployed its parachutes and splashed down safely into the Atlantic Ocean.
SpaceX has delivered 30 humans into space since 2020 and there has never been an emergency of this kind.
In 2018, however, Russia’s Soyuz capsule activated its escape system after the rocket’s booster failed mid-flight.
The two crew members were on their way to the International Space Station when the rocket failed only a few minutes into the launch.
Both landed back on the ground safely after the spacecraft separated from the rocket and deployed its parachutes.