Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has confirmed that astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi along with his Crew-6 crew members successfully completed the mission to relocate the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft on the International Space Station (ISS).
This is the third port relocation of a Dragon crew spacecraft, following previous relocations during the Crew-1 and Crew-2 missions. Al Neyadi participated in the mission along with the Crew-6 members, NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev.
The mission began at 3.23 PM UAE time, with the Crew-6 members undocking the Dragon spacecraft from the space-facing port of the Harmony module on the ISS. After undergoing a series of manoeuvres over the course of 38 minutes, the crew docked the spacecraft with the station’s forward Harmony port at 4:01 PM UAE time.
The relocation of the Dragon spacecraft was supported by the Mission Control Centre at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston, SpaceX in Hawthorne, California and monitored by the MBRSC team. The relocation freed up the Harmony module’s space-facing port for the docking of the next Dragon cargo spacecraft set to launch in June. The zenith port on Harmony will now allow the Canadarm2 robotic arm easier access to the International Space Station Roll-Out Solar Arrays, or IROSAs, that will arrive on SpaceX’s 28th commercial resupply mission for NASA for installation through a series of spacewalks.
Commenting on the development, Adnan AlRais, Mission Manager, UAE Astronaut Programme, MBRSC, said: “The successful relocation of the Dragon spacecraft, skilfully executed by the Sultan Al Neyadi and his fellow Crew 6 team members, marks a new accomplishment for Expedition 69. By supporting the mission and maintenance of the ISS, we are advancing scientific endeavours on the space station. Over the coming months, we eagerly anticipate the continuation of innovative collaborations, missions, and experiments that will enrich humanity’s knowledge and well-being.”
Al Neyadi had recently become the first Arab to undertake a spacewalk during Expedition 69, along with Bowen. During the spacewalk, which lasted seven hours and one minute, they successfully completed a series of preparatory tasks which involved routing power cables, as a precursor to the installation of the iROSA.