Dubai: The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has announced that astronaut Mr. Sultan AlNeyadi and his crew members successfully relocated the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft on the International Space Station (ISS). This marks the third port relocation of a Dragon crew spacecraft, with previous relocations occurring during the Crew-1 and Crew-2 missions.
The Crew-6 mission included Mr. AlNeyadi, NASA astronauts Mr. Stephen Bowen and Ms. Warren Hoburg, as well as Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev. The mission began at 3:23 PM UAE time as the crew undocked the Dragon spacecraft from the space-facing port of the Harmony module on the ISS. After a series of manoeuvres that lasted 38 minutes, the spacecraft was docked with the station’s forward Harmony port at 4:01 PM UAE time.
The relocation was monitored by the MBRSC team and supported by the Mission Control Centre at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston and SpaceX in Hawthorne, California.
The relocation freed up the Harmony module’s space-facing port for the docking of the next Dragon cargo spacecraft, which is 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 (IROSAs), which will arrive on SpaceX’s 28th commercial resupply mission for NASA for installation through a series of spacewalks.
Prior to the mission, Crew-6 reviewed the relocation procedures, checked the vehicle hatches, and configured the spacecraft cabin. Over the past week, AlNeyadi and Bowen worked together in the Destiny laboratory module, where they collected water samples and replaced components from inside Destiny’s oxygen generation system.
The UAE Astronaut Program is managed by MBRSC under the UAE’s National Space Programme and is funded by the ICT Fund of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA). The program aims to promote the country’s integration on the global stage by supporting research and development in the ICT sector in the UAE.