Last update: April 29, 2023, 06:44 HST
United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan Al-Neyadi became the first Arab to undertake a spacewalk on Expedition 69 by venturing out of the International Space Station (ISS) and completing his spacewalk. ‘space.
The historic spacewalk lasted 7.01 hours in the vacuum of space on the starboard side of the ISS’s lattice structure, accomplishing two key goals.
One of the goals of the extravehicular activity (EVA), undertaken by Al-Neyadi with NASA flight engineer Stephen Bowen, was to work on a series of preparatory tasks involving the routing of electrical cables, which been successfully concluded.
This cabling work was completed as a precursor to the installation of the fourth Space Station Deployment Solar Array, known as the International Space Station Deployment Solar Array (iROSA), which is expected to be delivered during the next SpaceX Dragon cargo mission. . The next objective was to recover a crucial Radio Frequency Group (RFG) unit.
This communications antenna, or RFG, will remain bolted to the station for now due to the difficulty of removing it. Before embarking on their spacewalk, Al-Neyadi and Bowen underwent a two-hour oxygen purge to remove nitrogen from their bodies.
Following this, Warren Hoburg and Frank Rubio helped the astronauts put on their space suits – a major operation in itself. It took Al-Neyadi and Bowen an extra hour to put on their spacesuits and safety gear before entering the airlock to gradually reduce the pressure to a safe level to open the outer hatch.
Before the spacewalk, a series of thorough checks were carried out to ensure the safety of the astronauts. During their high-altitude walk outside the ISS, Al-Neyadi and Bowen faced two major challenges: radiation and extreme temperatures.
The surrounding environment in space can reach scorching temperatures of up to 120 degrees Celsius in sunlight and drop to -150 degrees Celsius when the sun is out of sight.
Although the spacesuit is designed to handle all of this, careful management of the suit during the mission was also a task.
Hamad Obaid Al-Mansoori, Chairman of MBRSC, said, “UAE Mission 2 is a truly inspiring endeavor that embodies the Emirati spirit of excellence and the determination to achieve greatness in all our endeavors.” “From its inception as the longest running Arab space mission, to the historic appointment of the first Arab increment leader of an ISS expedition, and continuing now with the groundbreaking achievement of the first Arab spacewalk by Sultan Al-Neyadi, this mission set a new standard of excellence in space exploration.
Salem Humaid Al-Marri, Director General of MBRSC, said: “Sultan Al-Neyadi’s spacewalk has generated an unprecedented level of excitement and interest among the public, highlighting the immense importance of this mission.
“As Sultan conducts groundbreaking science experiments on the ISS, the addition of the spacewalk showcases another dimension of the UAE’s remarkable expertise in space exploration. This significant achievement will play a role essential in restoring the International Space Station to full operational capability, cementing the UAE’s position as a leading contributor to the global space community,” Al-Marri said.
Al-Neyadi will soon complete two months in space after launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida with members of his Crew-6 team on March 2. For his second month aboard the Space Station, Al-Neyadi conducted several experiments.
The United Arab Emirates Astronaut Program is one of the projects managed by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center under the National Space Program of the United Arab Emirates and funded by the ICT Fund of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and the Government digital, which aims to support research and development in the ICT sector in the UAE and promote the country’s integration on the world stage.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)