VIDEO: Sultan of Space Neyadi and Crew-6 members are on their way to earth - GulfToday

VIDEO: Sultan of Space Neyadi and Crew-6 members are on their way to earth


Sultan Al Neyadi.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) on Sunday announced the successful undocking of Crew-6, which includes astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, from the International Space Station (ISS).

This marks the beginning of the crew’s return journey after the 6-month-long space mission.

The Dragon Endeavour spacecraft carrying onboard Sultan Al Neyadi along with his Crew-6 crewmates, NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev autonomously undocked from the ISS at 3:05 PM (UAE time), following which a series of departure burns were executed to distance itself from the orbiting laboratory.

The spacecraft is currently in a safe free drift trajectory back to Earth.

Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi shared an emotional goodbye message before leaving the ISS for earth on Sunday.

Al Neyadi wrote on social media, “Space, this is not a goodbye. I will see you later, whether on a new mission to the ISS or a farther destination.

“I thank my beloved country for turning our dreams into achievements and all of you for your trust and affection.

Wish us a safe return. We'll meet soon.”

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) said that astronaut Neyadi scheduled return from the International Space Station (ISS) was delayed due to unfavourable weather conditions.

According to NASA and SpaceX, the next available undocking opportunity is now no earlier than 3rd September, with a splashdown scheduled for 4th September, pending weather conditions.

The closure of the gate between the 'SpaceX Dragon Endeavor' vehicle and the station will begin on Sunday 3.20pm UAE time.

This will be followed by the separation of the vehicle after about an hour and a half at 5.05 pm. It will enter the Earth's orbit at exactly 7-45 am UAE time on Monday, September 4, then the landing will take place in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean off Florida at 8.05 am UAE time. It is that the return journey takes 17 hours and 38 minutes.

Return sequence

Prior to initiating the deorbit sequence, stringent checks will be performed, especially pertaining to forecasted weather conditions and recovery readiness at the designated splashdown location. Following these verifications, the following steps will take place:

1. Departure: The Dragon spacecraft will autonomously undock from the ISS on September 2 and perform a series of departure burns to move away from the orbiting laboratory.

2. Phasing burns: If required, a series of orbit-lowering manoeuvres will be done on the spacecraft that line up its ground track with the desired landing location.

3. Trunk jettison: Prior to the spacecraft’s deorbit burn, the flight computer will jettison the trunk in order to reduce mass and save propellant.

4. Deorbit burn: The spacecraft will conduct its deorbit burn, which lasts 12 minutes.

5. Re-entry: The spacecraft will experience significant heating and drag as it re-enters Earth’s atmosphere, which slows the velocity to the point of safe parachute deploy.

6. Parachute deployment: The spacecraft’s two drogue parachutes will deploy at 18,000 feet followed by four main parachutes that deploy at 6,500 feet.

7. Splashdown: Under four main parachutes, the spacecraft will safely touch down at a velocity of 25 feet per second and autonomously release its parachutes off the coast of Tampa, Florida in the Gulf of Mexico on September 4.

Following the undocking, if necessary, a series of orbit-lowering manoeuvres, known as phasing burns, will be executed on the spacecraft to align its ground track with the targeted landing location. Before initiating the deorbit burn, the flight computer will jettison the spacecraft’s trunk, a step crucial for reducing its mass and conserving propellant.

This will pave the way for the spacecraft’s deorbit burn, scheduled to last for 12 minutes.

Upon completion, as the spacecraft re-enters Earth’s atmosphere, it will encounter significant heating and drag, effectively reducing its velocity to a safe point suitable for parachute deployment.

At an altitude of 18,000 feet, two drogue parachutes will be deployed, quickly followed by the release of four main parachutes at approximately 6,500 feet.
Under the steady guidance of these four main parachutes, the spacecraft is projected to make a gentle splashdown at a speed of 25 feet per second off the coast of Tampa, Florida in the Gulf of Mexico on Sept.4 (Monday).

Longest Arab space mission

The longest Arab space mission in history was launched on March 2 at 9:34 am (UAE time), aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour spacecraft. The 6-month mission, was carried out by Al Neyadi, NASA astronauts Bowen and Hoburg, along with Roscosmos cosmonaut Fedyaev.

Over the course of the mission, Al Neyadi was involved in over 200 experiments, partnering with international space agencies and esteemed UAE and global universities. His contributions span diverse fields, including plant genetics, human life sciences, exploration technology, fluid dynamics, material science, protein crystallisation growth, and advanced exploration technologies.


Related articles