Sultan Al Neyadi during his preparation for the mission.
Sultan Al Neyadi, the Emirati astronaut, is preparing to head to the International Space Station (ISS), on Feb.19, on the first long-term Arab mission which will last 180 days, as part of the “Crow 6” mission, launched from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, USA.
Al Neyadi will participate in the mission along with 3 other astronauts, making the UAE the 11th nation globally that accomplish a long-term mission at the station.
According to SpaceX, its sixth mission will carry two NASA astronauts, Stephen Bowen, the mission commander, and pilot Woody Hoburg, as well as two mission specialists, Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi and Russian astronaut Andrey Vidyaev.
Al Neyadi will put on a spacewalk suit, weighing 130 kilogrammes (on the ground), called the “Extravehicle Mobility Unit” or “EMU”, which requires 45 minutes to be worn.
The special equipment, helmet and gloves will be installed, after which he will enter a pressurized unit to adapt to the low pressure which the suit maintains.
It is worth noting that the astronaut must spend more than an hour inside this unit breathing pure oxygen before leaving it.
The suit is like a small spaceship, protecting astronauts from the harsh conditions outside the ISS, and from space dust, as Al Neyadi will walk in space to perform tasks and repairs outside the ISS, which may last eight hours.
The suit's elastic parts consist of 16 layers, each of which has a different function. Some layers retain oxygen, while others protect the astronaut from space dust.
Under the suit, the astronaut wears another piece of clothing which covers the body except for the head, hands and feet. Also, tubes are regulated inside it, which are about 300 feet long, to regulate body temperature and get rid of excess heat while walking in space.
Astronaut’s suit is usually white, to reflect heat in space where temperatures in direct sunlight can be over 135°C.
The gloves are of a special type called “EVA”, which will enable him to pick up equipment and tools. They also contain heaters at the tips of the fingers.
The helmet it contains a venting pad that directs oxygen from the subsystem to support life and maintains oxygen pressure around the head at suitable levels.
UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi has shared a video of himself enjoying a delicious bread and honey snack. In the video Neyadi is seen with a bread piece in one hand and a bottle of Emirati honey in the other.
Al Neyadi urged those with distinguished Arab minds and those who are passionate about science and knowledge to join the initiative, contribute to efforts aimed at strengthening Arabs' confidence in their capabilities...
“I write to you with gravity under my feet and warmth in my heart from all the love and support you all have shared..thank you all for being part of this journey with me,” he wrote on X.
The uncrewed six-legged robot lander, dubbed Odysseus, touched down at about 6:23 p.m. EST (2323 GMT). The landing capped a nail-biting final approach and descent in which a problem surfaced with the spacecraft's autonomous navigation system.
The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) has distributed 29,374 bread bundles benefiting 293,830 individuals. The move is part of a bakery project started by the charity.
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