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The space station will become a little less crowded on Saturday

SpaceX’s four Crew-6 astronauts are expected to depart the International Space Station (ISS) on Saturday after four months living and working on the orbital laboratory.

Heading home aboard a Crew Dragon capsule will be NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg, United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev.

The mission was the fourth spaceflight for Bowen, who participated in space shuttle missions STS-126 in 2008, STS-132 in 2010, and STS-133 in 2011, and the first for Hoburg, Al Neyadi, and Fedyaev.

Following the arrival of the four Crew-7 members on Sunday, the crew count aboard the ISS grew to 11. That’s a lot of people in a facility that NASA says is around the size of a six-bedroom house, though in the past it’s hosted as many as 13. The usual crew count for the ISS is around six or seven.

The Crew-6 members are currently finishing up handover activities, which involve finishing off a number of science experiments and moving return cargo to the outgoing Crew Dragon, which has been docked with the ISS since the astronauts’ arrival in March.

Al Neyadi’s six months aboard the ISS marked the longest space trip by an Arab to date, and he also became the first Arab to perform a spacewalk. The Emirati regularly posted on X, which was called Twitter when he left Earth six months ago, keeping his followers back on terra firma up to date with his life in orbit.

Below are some of Al Neyadi’s best posts shared during his final month aboard the station:

When we pour water here, it will not fall due to the minimal effect of gravity aboard the ISS. 💧
Nevertheless, this doesn't prevent water or food from reaching our stomachs, thanks to the esophageal muscle contractions that push drinks and food downwards.

— Sultan AlNeyadi (@Astro_Alneyadi) August 25, 2023

Controlling temperature and humidity on the ISS is crucial for our health and the safety of the equipment onboard.🌡

Therefore, we periodically inspect the Common Cabin Air Assembly (CCAA), which plays this role, to determine future maintenance activities.⚙️

— Sultan AlNeyadi (@Astro_Alneyadi) August 22, 2023

Have you ever wondered how honey forms in space? 🍯
I still have some Emirati honey left that I enjoy from time to time. Honey has many benefits, especially for the health of astronauts.

— Sultan AlNeyadi (@Astro_Alneyadi) August 20, 2023

My space mission has grown my passion for #Jujutsu. 🥋

I have been practicing this martial art for years and it has helped me to balance in microgravity and endure physical activity, especially during the spacewalk. Sharing with you some of my preferred Jujutsu techniques.

— Sultan AlNeyadi (@Astro_Alneyadi) August 13, 2023

The Himalayas from space 🏔️

Home to the Everest summit, the highest point above sea level on earth, these mountains are one of the iconic landmarks of our planet's rich nature.

— Sultan AlNeyadi (@Astro_Alneyadi) August 12, 2023

دار زايد من الفضاء


My beloved UAE from space

— Sultan AlNeyadi (@Astro_Alneyadi) August 10, 2023

A view from space of the Suez Canal: Heart of global trade. 🚢

This artificial waterway in #Egypt connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and has brought continents closer for over 150 years. 🇪🇬

— Sultan AlNeyadi (@Astro_Alneyadi) August 7, 2023

Much has been said about the beauty of the Moon, but every time we look at it, we feel as though we are seeing it for the first time.
Here's our beautiful Moon from the ISS. 🌑

— Sultan AlNeyadi (@Astro_Alneyadi) August 6, 2023

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Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
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