UAE astronaut reveals challenges he will face on Earth after returning from 6-month space stint

The Emirates Amateur Radio Society witnessed Alneyadi's final radio call from the ISS yesterday


Ruqayya Al Qaydi

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Published: Tue 1 Aug 2023, 5:27 PM

Last updated: Tue 1 Aug 2023, 6:26 PM

UAE's own astronaut, Sultan AlNeyadi, is all set to return to Earth later this month, as his six month expedition aboard the International Space Station (ISS) comes to an end.

In a recent interaction session with students, AlNeyadi said that once he returns to Earth he will have to encounter several challenges in order to readapt to everyday life.

“After spending six months in space, when we return, we must adapt to walking and life in general. Typically, it takes about two weeks of training to readjust to life on Earth. During this time, we conduct scientific experiments and physical exercises to return to a normal state.”

During the interaction Salem AlMarri, Director General of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, made a surprise appearance, thanking the astronaut for his dedication and contribution to space exploration.

"We are looking forward for you to come back home. You’ve only got a couple of weeks up there and we will see you very soon. Would you like to give us the last message for the last radio call?” Salim Al Marri said.

AlNeyadi then thanked everyone on Earth for their support and said that he cherished the experience. "It’s always a pleasure taking to everyone and sharing everything we are doing so far. Hopefully we can come back and share even more.”

During his six-month journey, he missed his mother's home-cooked meals the most, AlNeyadi said. Elaborating, he said that even though he had access to traditional Emirati delicacies like dates and honey, nothing could compare to the warmth and comfort of a meal cooked by his mother.

The Emirates Amateur Radio Society witnessed Alneyadi's final radio call from the ISS yesterday.

A delegation from the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre and the Emirates Amateur Radio Society attended the event, creating an opportunity for young minds to connect with the renowned astronaut.

The event was marked with enthusiasm and admiration as students engaged with the astronaut during a captivating question-and-answer session.

Throughout the 10-minute radio call, students seized the opportunity to inquire about various aspects of space life.

Q. How do you maintain cleanliness on the International Space Station?

The crew gathers at the end of every week to clean the station together. Trash bags are collected and disposed of in designated places. When we receive a cargo vehicle, after unloading the cargo, we fill it with the station's waste. This vehicle is not designed to return to Earth; it enters the Earth's atmosphere and burns up.

Q. How does microgravity affect plant growth in the International Space Station?

We have designated areas for plant growth, and usually, plants follow the light. We have lighting properties that can be controlled to suit the plants.

Q. How do you deal with waste in the space station?

We sort the waste into dry waste like paper and bags, and waste that can rot after a while, such as food and organic matter. There are dedicated bags for each type of waste, and they are disposed of separately.

Q. What is the temperature in the International Space Station, and how is the required temperature level maintained?

We have a moderate temperature that can be controlled to be cooler or warmer, ranging from 24 to 25°C.


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