Retracing UAE astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi's journey from Earth to space and back

AlNeyadi and Hazzaa Al Mansoori were chosen as the first two astronauts to represent the country in space exploration missions


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by

Waheed Abbas

Published: Tue 19 Sep 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Tue 19 Sep 2023, 9:05 PM

The UAE's second astronaut, Sultan AlNeyadi, returned to the UAE after spending six months on the International Space Station and was welcomed by the UAE leaders, his family, Crown Princes, ministers and jubilant citizens.

AlNeyadi and his compatriot Hazzaa Al Mansoori were chosen as the first two astronauts to represent the UAE in space exploration missions. Al Mansoori was the first astronaut from the UAE and the Arab world to go to space, while AlNeyadi was his backup in 2019.

During AlNeyadi's stay at ISS, the Emirati astronaut conducted more than 200 advanced research experiments and studies that took about 585 hours. Here, we retrace Sultan of space's journey, which spanned over four years.

September 2018: Hazza Al Mansoori and Sultan AlNeyadi were selected from a pool of 4,000 applicants who applied to the UAE Astronaut Programme to form the first batch of the programme.

September 2019: AlNeyadi and Hazzaa AlMansoori started training at the Moscow Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre.

July 2022: AlNeyadi was named in the final crew list by Nasa as part of the SpaceX Crew-6 mission.

February 2023: Completed pre-departure ISS mission training at Nasa's Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory of Nasa.

March 2023: The Sultan of Space was successfully sent to ISS from Launch Complex 39A at Nasa's Kennedy Space Center on board the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.

March 2023: He shared the first selfie taken from the ISS with a stunning Earth view.

March 2023: The first call between AlNeyadi and 2,000 participants took place live from ISS.

April 2023: He performed a six-and-a-half hour spacewalk outside the International Space Station. It was the first-ever spacewalk for an Arab astronaut.

May 2023: He shared stunning night-time images of Dubai from space on X (formerly Twitter). Photos showed Palm Jumeirah and neighbourhoods shining in the night.

September 2023: Returned to the Earth at the end of the historic mission.

September 2023: He returned to his homeland, UAE, on a special flight named Al Ain. He received an overwhelming response from the UAE leaders, his family, dignitaries and elders.

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