Look: UAE astronaut celebrates 'gravity-defying' birthday in outer space

There are currently 11 crew members living on board the ISS, including the first Saudi female astronaut

by

Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Thu 25 May 2023, 3:17 PM

Emirati astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi has marked his first birthday in space in what he described was a “truly gravity-defying celebration”.

As he cruised 400km above Earth on the International Space Station (ISS), “colleagues who have become like family” made his 42nd birthday special with a maple muffin top cake from the US crew, a cinnamon bun with yoghurt and dry fruits from the Russian crew, and “wishes in Arabic”.


The Emirati astronaut, who earlier this year became the first Arab to perform a spacewalk, shared photos of his birthday treats.

Eleven crew members are currently living on board the ISS, including Saudi astronauts Rayyanah Barnawi and Ali Al Qarni. AlNeyadi had given his Arab colleagues a grand Emirati welcome, complete with dates and water.


On Tuesday, the astronaut revealed that he misses his mother’s cooking during the ‘A Call from Space’ event that was hosted in his hometown of Al Ain. The United Arab Emirates University, in collaboration with the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), hosted the fourth installment of the series that allows the public to ask him questions.

AlNeyadi who is on a six month mission to the International Space Station (ISS) has been conducting several experiments during his time there. It was in March that he blasted off to space along with his Crew-6 mates aboard a Space X rocket.

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