SpaceX NASA Crew-6 to Send UAE Astronaut to ISS in 2023
Axiom Space signed an agreement with the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) of the United Arab Emirates (UAB) to host a UAE crew member aboard the Crew-6 mission to the International Space Station in 2023, according to a press release.
Axiom Space President and CEO Michael Suffredini emphasized the accomplishment, being the country’s first long-term mission to the International Space Station.
The SpaceX Crew-6 mission is the sixth planned crew flight to the ISS aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft.
Suffredini said, “It is our great pleasure to sign the agreement with the United Arab Emirates’ Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center, marking the first time a commercial space company has made such a mission possible.” Suffredini continued, “Axiom Space is proud to provide MBRSC with a fight opportunity for a UAE astronaut, enabling its first long-term mission to the ISS.”
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UAE previously flew an astronaut to the ISS aboard the Soyuz MS15 spacecraft, though this will mark the first non-ISS partner professional astronaut flight as hosted by the U.S.
The current agreement comes from a no-funds contract between NASA and Axiom to fly a NASA astronaut on an Axiom-owned Soyuz seat down the line.
The agreement was signed at the Embassy of the UAB in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, as signed by Director-General of the MBRSC Salem Humaid Almarri and Suffredini.