Over 200 experiments, 25 live calls: Sultan AlNeyadi’s 6 months on ISS

Citizens and residents keenly followed the astronaut’s posts and messages as he gave glimpses of the world from space


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Sun 3 Sep 2023, 3:14 PM

As Sultan AlNeyadi is all set to splashdown on Earth tomorrow, the Dubai Media Office has hailed the Emirati astronaut’s efforts during the course of the six months on the International Space Station (ISS) with a video on social media platform X.

It recaps several key moments of the historic space mission including AlNeyadi’s first words and the over 200 experiments he conducted during his stay on the ISS.

Team KT has put together a list of some of the most memorable moments of the mission.

1. First words

“The UAE is making great progress and hopefully this will be followed by even greater accomplishments,” were the first words AlNeyadi spoke aboard the ISS.

With these words that paid homage to his home country, the longest Arab space mission in history kicked off. Citizens and residents alike keenly followed the astronaut’s posts and messages as he gave glimpses of the world from space.

2. Over 200 experiments

From studying sleep patterns of astronauts to growing vegetables, AlNeyadi conducted over 200 experiments while on the ISS that took about 585 hours. These contributed to various fields of science including biological, medical, technical, and material sciences. He collaborated with 25 universities and 10 international space agencies for these experiments which will not only help future astronauts, but also impact the world in general with its widespread applications.

3. Spacewalk

The first Arab ever to conduct a spacewalk, AlNeyadi spent 7 hours and 1 minute outside the ISS in vacuum along with NASA Flight Engineer Stephen Bowen. During this, he conducted several preparatory tasks which involved routing power cables. Once it was completed, a NASA representative commended him by saying ‘Sultan that was impressive, you have surgeon’s hands.’

This consolidated the UAE's leadership in the space sector as the country ranked 10th globally in spacewalking missions outside the ISS.

4. Live calls

One of the most keenly awaited moments of AlNeyadi's space visit was the live calls he conducted during which he interacted with students, professionals and UAE leaders. The 'Call from Space' series attracted over 10,000 people. Some calls presented heartwarming moments — like when he got a surprise message from his children and then from his father. Others dispelled myths about space. During a live call with media, he told Khaleej Times he would miss microgravity when he returns home

5. Putting UAE on the map

In addition to everything he achieved on the ISS, AlNeyadi also put UAE on the map. He showcased honey from a local organic farm on his videos and became the first person to do Jiu Jitsu in space. Also, in a world first, he launched a new children's book written by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Now, as the countdown begins for AlNeyadi to land back on earth, an entire nation is watching with bated breath and a prayer in their hearts for the safe return of their hero. “Today, we eagerly await the successful completion of the mission. We anticipate a new beginning for our endless ambition –Zayed’s ambition,” concluded the video by DMO. A detailed account of AlNeyadi’s return can be found on the KT blog.


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