Carrying out experiments in weightlessness without being allowed to eat or drink - the challenge is for astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi. He is to spend six months on the International Space Station (ISS) with one Russian and two American colleagues. The 41-year-old is only the second person from the United Arab Emirates and one of the few Muslim astronauts to have traveled into space. His stay on the ISS also includes the fasting month of Ramadan, which is important in Islam. From March 23, Muslims will abstain from eating, drinking, drugs and sex for four weeks from sunrise to sunset. In a press conference, he explained how Al Neyadi can stick to the rules, even though he experiences 16 sunsets within 24 hours on the ISS.
"Ramadan is a good way to fast, it's even healthy," he told reporters. "We'll see how it goes." Instead of using the position of the sun, he can use the Greenwich Mean Time, which applies on the ISS.
But it also falls under one of the few exceptions: Old and sick people, children and travelers do not have to fast in Ramadan. In addition, the waiver is not mandatory anyway if you feel uncomfortable. "We are allowed to eat enough food to prevent escalation due to lack of food, nutrients or fluids." His mission in space is therefore not in danger because of Ramadan.
At the beginning of March, Al Neyadi and the rest of "Crew 6" docked with a SpaceX spacecraft at the ISS. In total, more than 200 crew experiments and maintenance work on the space station are planned.
Sources: CNN, Youtube