SpaceX Dragon crew blasts off for International Space Station

Published March 3, 2023
Emirati Mission Specialist and astronaut Sultan Alneyadi is displayed on a screen as people watch the lauching of NASA and SpaceX Dragon Crew-6 mission to International Space Station, at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in Dubai on March 2, 2023. — AFP
Emirati Mission Specialist and astronaut Sultan Alneyadi is displayed on a screen as people watch the lauching of NASA and SpaceX Dragon Crew-6 mission to International Space Station, at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in Dubai on March 2, 2023. — AFP

 A screen grab shows Andrey Fedyaev of Russia (left), Warren Hoburg of the US (second left), Stephen Bowen of the US (second right), and Sultan Alneyadi of the UAE waving from the inside of their Dragon Endeavour spacecraft.—AFP
A screen grab shows Andrey Fedyaev of Russia (left), Warren Hoburg of the US (second left), Stephen Bowen of the US (second right), and Sultan Alneyadi of the UAE waving from the inside of their Dragon Endeavour spacecraft.—AFP

CAPE CANAVERAL: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off on Thursday to the International Space Station carrying two Nasa astronauts, a Russian cosmonaut and the second Emirati to voyage to space.

The SpaceX Dragon Crew-6 mission launched at 12:34am from Launch Complex 39A at Nasa’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, a live stream of the launch showed.

The launch had been scrubbed on Monday just minutes before liftoff because of a clog in a filter that supplies ignition fluid to start the rocket engines.

“Congratulations to the Nasa and SpaceX teams for another history-making mission to the International Space Station!” Nasa Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement.

Two Nasa astronauts, a Russian cosmonaut and an Emirati will spend six months on the orbiting station

The Dragon crew capsule, dubbed Endeavour, is scheduled to dock with the ISS at 1:17am on Friday after a 24-hour voyage.

Nasa’s Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg, Russia’s Andrey Fedyaev and Sultan al-Neyadi of the United Arab Emirates are to spend six months on the orbiting station.

Neyadi, 41, will be the fourth astronaut from an Arab country and the second from the oil-rich UAE to journey to space; his compatriot Hazzaa al-Mansoori flew an eight-day mission in 2019.

Published in Dawn, March 3rd, 2023

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