Muhammad Jamal wrote
Friday, March 24, 2023 at 05:00 PM
Sultan Al Neyadi, the first Arab astronaut on a six-month long mission aboard the International Space Station, celebrated the start of the holy month in orbit this week when the Ramadan crescent moon appeared.
The Emirati astronaut arrived in space on March 2 after launching his Crew Dragon spacecraft into orbit on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
He is working on the International Space Station for a half-year mission, the first long-duration mission by an astronaut from the United Arab Emirates.
Al-Neyadi took to Twitter on Thursday, March 24, while sharing a video clip of his amazing observations of the Earth, Moon (crescent moon) and Venus from the International Space Station, writing: “Ramadan Mubarak. International Space Station”.
While adult Muslims are required to fast from dawn to sunset during Ramadan, Al Neyadi cannot do so for practical reasons.
During a press conference before his flight to orbit on January 25, al-Neyadi said his priority was to serve the mission because he could not undertake actions that “would endanger the mission or endanger crew members.”
While he is on the space station he is classified as a passenger, which exempts him from the mandatory fast.
It is worth noting that the International Space Station, located at an altitude of 400 km, completes one revolution around the Earth every 90 minutes, which means that it completes about 16 revolutions around our planet per day, so that the astronauts of the station see 16 sunrises. And sunset for a day, which is another reason that hinders Al Neyadi’s commitment.
The Emirati astronaut will conduct 19 experiments dedicated to topics such as back pain, plant biology, cardiovascular health, materials science, radiation, sleep and fluids, according to an overview provided by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center, which manages the Emirati astronaut program.
Two vigilance experiments are planned with students looking at oral and dental cells in space with blood flow.
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