Home / News / World /  Arab astronaut won’t fast during Ramadan: Here’s why

Sultan al-Neyadi, an astronaut from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has said that he won't have to fast during Ramadan, when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, while on his next space expedition. When the 41-year-old launches for the International Space Station (ISS) the following month aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, he will make history as the first Arab astronaut to spend six months in space.

Neyadi will be the second citizen of the UAE to travel to space. Hazzaa al-Mansoori spent eight days on the ISS in September 2019.

On February 26, Neyadi, NASA astronauts Warren Hoburg and Stephen Bowen, as well as Andrey Fedyaev of Russia, will board SpaceX Dragon Crew-6 and go to the International Space Station.

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Neyadi claims his circumstance is an exception when asked how he will commemorate the holy month of Ramadan during a news appearance. Since he will fall under the definition of a traveller, it won’t be mandatory for him to fast during that time. Fasting is not compulsory either for those who are not feeling well, he said.

"So in that regard, anything that can jeopardise the mission, or maybe put the crew members in a risk, we're actually allowed to eat sufficient food," he said.

At the Johnson Space Center on January 25, it was also questioned whether any of the political unrest on Earth, such as the Russia-Ukraine crisis, spilled over into space by the NASA astronauts and the Russian cosmonaut.

Russian cosmonaut Fedyaev referred to the elaborate history of Russian and American space collaboration.

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"The life of people in space on the International Space Station is really setting a very good example for how people should be living on Earth," he said.

"I've been working and training with cosmonauts for over 20 years now and it's always been amazing," Bowen, a US veteran of three space shuttle missions, said. "Once you get to space, it's just one crew, one vehicle and we all have the same goal."

(With agency inputs)


Sounak Mukhopadhyay

Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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