UAE astronaut Sultan al-Neyadi’s return to Earth after his historic six-month mission in space has been delayed due to “unfavorable” weather at the splashdown site, NASA has confirmed.
Al-Neyadi was originally due to leave the International Space Station on 5:05 p.m. UAE time on Saturday. Now, he is due to leave the orbital outpost at 3:05 p.m., UAE time, on Sunday, with a scheduled splash down off the coast of Florida at approximately 8:07 a.m., UAE time, on Monday.
Live coverage of al-Neyadi’s blast-off, on board a SpaceX Dragon capsule, will capture the moment the UAE astronaut – who made history during his mission to become the first Arab to perform a spacewalk –waves a final farewell from space.
Viewers can tune in via NASA at www.nasa.gov/naslive and through the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) website at www.mbrsc.ae/live.
He will then navigate a return journey to Earth alongside his crewmates NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg and Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev.
On Friday, al-Neyadi shared a video of one of his final glimpses of Earth from space, saying, “this beautiful view will always be etched in my mind.”
As well as completing the longest ever Arab space mission on ISS, al-Neyadi also worked with Saudi astronauts Ali al-Qarni and Rayyanah Barnawi – the first Arab woman ever sent into orbit – for eight days in May.
The mission saw al-Neyadi – who is only the second person from his country to fly to space and the first to launch from US soil as part of a long-duration space station team – conduct more than 200 experiments on the orbiting outpost.
The experiments he conducted ranged from human cell growth in space, controlling combustible materials in microgravity, tissue chip research on the heart, brain, and cartilage functions, studying sleep quality intended to help develop therapies for astronauts to improve sleep quality and overall health during extended space missions, and the effects of microgravity on the human heart, as well as maintenance tasks onboard ISS.