Sultan Al Neyadi

Sultan Al Neyadi returns to Earth on 1 September

The historic expedition of UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi comes to an end this week. His stay aboard the International Space Station (ISS) lasted six months, with Dr Al Neyadi and his American and Russian colleagues scheduled to return on 1 September.

It is worth noting that Sultan Al Neyadi made history twice: he became the first Arab astronaut to perform not only a long-duration space flight, but also a spacewalk. A video of him leaving the space station and performing a seven-hour maintenance task on the exterior of the ISS was streamed live on Nasa’s website on 28 April 2023.

A few months into the mission, Dr Al Neyadi was joined by two astronauts from Saudi Arabia who arrived at the ISS for eight days. Rayana Barnawi and Ali Al Qarni were welcomed with Emirati hospitality, Dr Al Neyadi gave them dates and water. It was another historic moment as the number of Arabs in the space increased to a record three.

In addition, the Emirati astronaut shared incredible photos taken from the ISS – from shots of the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai to Iraq’s bustling capital Baghdad and the Suez Canal in Egypt. He also shot videos of the Gulf countries, including the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

Al Neyadi also found time in his busy schedule and was able to interact with the citizens of his country. He held direct telephone conversations with residents of all seven emirates as part of the “Call from Space” outreach campaign. In doing so, the campaign went international: a direct call was made to Mauritius and Washington.

The astronauts will travel to Earth in a SpaceX Dragon capsule, the return home will take 24 hours, and will end off the coast of Florida (USA).

Source: The National

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