Auf einen Blick
- SpaceX launched four astronauts to the International Space Station
- The mission includes the first person from the Arab world to stay for an extended period
- The UAE paid for the seat of the Arab astronaut, Hazzaa al-Neyadi
- Previous Arab astronauts have only been in space for a week
- Two Saudi astronauts will join al-Neyadi this spring on a private SpaceX flight
SpaceX Launches Four Astronauts to International Space Station
The Falcon rocket bolted from Kennedy Space Center shortly after midnight, illuminating the night sky as it headed up the East Coast.
They will replace a U.S.-Russian-Japanese crew that has been up there since October.
First Person from Arab World Going Up for Extended Stay
Half a world away in Dubai and elsewhere across the UAE, schools and offices planned to broadcast the launch live.
Al-Neyadi, a communications engineer, served as backup for the first Emirati astronaut, Hazzaa al-Mansoori, who rode a Russian rocket to the space station in 2019 for a weeklong visit.
The oil-rich federation paid for al-Neyadi’s seat on the SpaceX flight.
Previous Arab Astronauts
Saudi Prince Sultan bin Salman was the first Arab in space, launching aboard shuttle Discovery in 1985. He was followed two years later by Syrian astronaut Muhammed Faris, launched by Russia.
Both were in space for about a week.
Al-Neyadi will be joined this spring by two Saudi astronauts going to the space station on a short private SpaceX flight paid by their government.
Al-Neyadi is taking up lots of dates to share with his crewmates, especially during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month which begins this month.
Bowen, the crew’s leader, said the four have jelled well as a team despite differences between their countries.
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