UAE Astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi to encounter unusual space phenomena: Gorilla-sitting sensation and 16 sunsets in one day
Several unusual space experiences await UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, who is scheduled to launch on Monday. These include feeling a giant gorilla sitting on his chest and seeing 16 sunsets and 16 sunrises every day.
First and foremost, the International Space Station (ISS), will be his home for the next six months. At an altitude of about 220 to 250 miles, the habitable artificial satellite travels through space at 17,500 miles per hour or 28,000 kilometres per hour (around 400km).
Al Neyadi is a member of NASA's SpaceX Crew-6 mission, which is scheduled to launch to the International Space Station (ISS) at 10:45 a.m. UAE time on Monday (February 27).
It circles the Earth once every 90 minutes. During the Earth's orbit, astronauts on board spend about 45 minutes in daylight and 45 minutes in darkness.
Every day, there are approximately 16 orbits (in 24 hours). That means the astronauts on board the ISS can see 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets each day.
Crew-6's mission is scheduled to last six months or 182 days, depending on mission requirements.
If he stays on the ISS for that long, he will be able to see 2,912 sunrises and sunsets.
Depending on the spacecraft and mission profile, it can take anywhere from six hours to three days to reach the space station.
Prior to spacecraft separation and rendezvous, SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will accelerate Crew-6 Dragon 'Endeavour' to an orbital velocity of 17,500 mph (approaching ISS at close distance).
The Crew-6 mission is scheduled to dock into the ISS on Tuesday at 11:38 a.m. UAE time. That means Al Neyadi's flight to ISS will take at least 24 hours and 53 minutes.