A SpaceX Astronaut to Attempt Ramadan Fasting While in Space

A SpaceX Astronaut to Attempt Ramadan Fasting While in Space (photo: Niketh Vellanki - Unsplash)

SpaceX Crew-6 will spend Ramadan in space. One of the Muslim astronauts will attempt to continue observing the Ramadan fasting in outer space.

One of the crew members is a man from the United Arab Emirates, Sultan Al Neyadi. He explained that as a Muslim traveler, he is allowed to eat normally.

However, he said he might try to fast for a few days. “We’ll see how it goes,” he said, quoted by Space.com on Friday (24/2/2023).

“We are actually allowed to eat sufficient food and prevent malnutrition or dehydration,” Al Neyadi continued.

Space.com reported that the UAE Space Agency did not respond to questions about whether there were any special foods planned for Al-Neyadi.

Al-Neyadi will go with two NASA astronauts, Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev. They will not return to Earth for six months or around August.

Al Neyadi is not the first Muslim to spend Ramadan in space. One of them is Prince Sultan bin Salman Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia.

Al-Saud launched into space on the last day of Ramadan on June 17, 1985. He traveled on the STS-51G shuttle for one week.

Before the launch, Al-Saud ate sahoor first before sunrise. Then, The National newspaper reported that he prayed at the launch tower before boarding the shuttle.

After safely reaching space with limited time, Al-Saud read the Quran and fasted. In his book, he recalled feeling tired due to lack of sleep and losing body fluids.

Earlier, the SpaceX astronauts were scheduled to launch around February 26, 2023, using the Crew Dragon aboard the Falcon 9 rocket.

However, the launch had to be delayed until Monday, February 27, at 1:45 am, the mission leaders said in an update on Tuesday night.

They said the delay was because there was still work to be done on the Dragon capsule. The scheduled mobile launch platform is still “going” for Wednesday. The leaders said they still have a lot of extra work to do but will continue to focus on safety.