Crew 6: UAE space program sends astronaut to the ISS

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SpaceX has just launched its ninth manned mission. The eighth to dock with the international space station. With four crew members and hundreds of kilos of cargo, these launches from Cape Canaveral have become routine for Elon Musk's company.

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Rocket rests with capsule aloft hours before flight. Source: NASA

The launch took place at 00:35 local time. SpaceX has only one manned launch ramp, LC-39A. This ramp was originally built for the Apollo program launches, especially the Saturn V launches. Since then, it has hosted some of the most important launches of history, such as the Apollo 11 or STS-1. However, the missions it has hosted since it was transferred to SpaceX have tended to be more conventional. Even so, this is one of the busiest launch pads in the world with many Falcon 9 launches and all Falcon Heavy launches.

This time, the launch was not achieved at the first attempt.. On the 27th, due to a problem in the rocket ignition system, the launch had to be aborted just two minutes before launch. The compound would be according to the Falcon 9 press kit the ignitor compound would be Triethylethylaluminum-Triethylborane. In this case, the aluminum would be the one that burns most violently when in contact with air.However, a failure in this subsystem forced the launch to be delayed.

Due to the way the launch procedure is designed, this was a relatively complex operation.  Although not without risk, the eviction was finally carried out without incident.

Due to the limited launch windows, it was imperative for the International Space Station to fix these problems quickly. In the end, it took only a few days to fix the problems.

Today the countdown reached zero and all nine Merlin 1D engines were nominally ignited. After eight minutes of flight, orbit entry was confirmed with the shutdown of the second stage engine.

Image of the Crew 6 crew on the space capsule access arm prior to launch. Source: NASA

The United Arab Emirates astronaut is a highlight of today's quadr crew. Sultan Alneyadi. He is accompanied by the pilot and commander, Americans and a Russian as cargo specialist.

Although this is not the first mission to the space station by an astronaut from this country, it is the first mission to the space station by an astronaut from this country.If it will be the first time that an astronaut from the gulf will perform a long term mission in the orbital laboratory. This has happened in a somewhat strange way, as it was due to a seat swaps between the private company Axiom and the space agency NASA. Due to a problem of dates, NASA could be without astronauts on the station for a short period of time, but wanting to avoid it, NASA made the decision to exchange a seat on Soyuz MS-18 for this other seat on Crew 6 with the company Axiom at zero cost for the latter.

Alneyadi is an electronics and communications engineer from the University of Brighton. He worked briefly for his country's military. Although he began his astronaut training at the Mohammed bin Rashid space center as early as 2018. He was, selected as one of the first two Emirati astronauts, although he has finally been the second to flyafter Hazza Al Mansouri did so for eight days on Soyuz MS15.

With this launch, the Expedition 69 manned spacecraft to the International Space Station have now lifted off and are awaiting the return of Crew 5 with its astronauts and the empty Soyuz MS22 to conclude the 68th long-duration expedition to the ISS.


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