UAE astronaut to celebrate birthday with call from space

UAE University in Al Ain will host the next edition of ‘A Call from Space’ on Tuesday, May 23

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Angel Tesorero

Published: Thu 18 May 2023, 5:44 PM

Last updated: Thu 18 May 2023, 7:02 PM

Emirati astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi’s 42nd birthday will be extra special as he will be calling home from space.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) announced on Thursday that the UAE University in Al Ain will host the next edition of ‘A Call from Space’ on Tuesday, May 23.

The public will have the opportunity to interact live with AlNeyadi, who was born on May 23, 1981 in Umm Ghafa, 30 kilometres southeast of Al Ain.

Al Ain, Al Neyadi’s hometown, has as a special place in his heart. Last month, he shared a striking image of his hometown, captured 400km above Earth from the orbiting International Space Station (ISS) – his home in space for six months.

AlNeyadi greeted everyone in Al Ain (followed by a purple heart emoji) and said: “My cherished recollections of Umm Ghafa – its inviting streets and warm-hearted people remain etched in my memory forever.”

Call time

According to MBRSC, the upcoming edition of ‘A Call from Space’ will take place at UAE University’s Great Hall at 2pm, with doors opening from 1pm onwards.

Due to limited seating, interested individuals are requested to book their place at the earliest by visiting MBRSC website.

Call and interact

Salem Humaid AlMarri, Director General, MBRSC, said: "Each call we share with Sultan is an invaluable window into the realities of life beyond our planet. It is also an opportunity to learn, to inspire, and to fuel our collective curiosity.

“We are not only hearing about an astronaut's journey, but also shaping the future narrative of space exploration for our country and the world. With each call and interaction, we are stepping closer to turning our space aspirations into a tangible reality and inspiring a new generation to carry the torch of exploration into the future,” AlMarri added.

AlNeyadi has been making history in space for over two months, marking a significant milestone in Arab space exploration. His responsibilities on ISS are vast and varied – having conducted several scientific experiments and performed maintenance work on the orbiting space laboratory.

Alongside fellow crew member Stephen Bowen, AlNeyadi became the first Arab astronaut to perform a spacewalk. The spacewalk on April 28, which spanned 7 hours and 1 minute, involved skillfully executing a number of preparatory tasks, that included routing of power cables and laying the groundwork for the forthcoming installation of the ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA).


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