'Honoured to carry Sheikh Zayed's Ambition': UAE astronaut to bear founding father's legacy in space

Sultan Al Neyadi is now in his final weeks of training ahead of the historic 180-day mission


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Thu 2 Feb 2023, 9:24 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Mar 2023, 12:38 PM

UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, who is set to make space history again for the Arab world, will be carrying the legacy of the country's founding father into space during his long-haul mission at the International Space Station (ISS).

The astronaut will carry with him the 'Zayed's Ambition' patch - the logo of the first Arab long-duration astronaut mission. Unveiling the logo, MBR Space Centre revealed that the patch depicts an astronaut wearing a suit and looking at a drawing of the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE's founding father.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Al Neyadi said “I am proud and honoured to carry ‘Zayed’s Ambition’ patch in the second UAE Astronauts’ mission.”

Mission Patch

Salem Al Marri, Director General of MBRSC, unveiled the UAE Mission 2 patch logo while paying tribute to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE.

Inspired by the first mission logo patch, the second mission patch captures Sultan Al Neyadi as he looks up to Sheikh Zayed against the backdrop of the International Space Station, Earth and space. The logo signifies the six-month mission’s crucial role in advancing our understanding of space. The mission will add scientific value and find practical benefits to improve sustainability and efficiency back home.

Long-haul mission

Al Neyadi is now in his final weeks of training ahead of the UAE's next historic journey, a 180-day mission on the International Space Station (ISS). The Emirati astronaut, together with three other members of Crew 6, is set to blast off on a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft no earlier than February 26.

During the six-month mission aboard the ISS, Al Neyadi will conduct 19 scientific experiments alongside an educational and outreach programme inspiring the next generation and showcasing the promising future of the UAE space missions.

Talking about Al Neyadi, astronaut Hazzaa Al Mansoori, Mission Specialist, Backup Crew, Crew-6 says, “When we started out, we didn’t have people before us, so we helped each other to understand things. He stayed with me by my side as a brother and colleague during my mission.

"Today, I stand by my brother Sultan, and I am happy to see him living the dream that I lived - to be living that big moment. In space, there is no gravity and complete isolation, but passion keeps you going. Sultan will conduct many crucial scientific experiments during his mission, and I will be proud to see him raising the flag of the UAE in space.”


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