UAE astronaut's 1 month in space: 5 studies Sultan AlNeyadi has been busy with aboard ISS

The Emirati has been keeping his promise that he will stay in touch: Through his tweets and constant interactions with people on Earth — particularly the youth — he shares a wealth of knowledge about life in space


Angel Tesorero

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A photo of AlNeyadi conducting the 'Cardinal Heart 2.0' study. — Photo Courtesy: Twitter
A photo of AlNeyadi conducting the 'Cardinal Heart 2.0' study. — Photo Courtesy: Twitter

Published: Tue 4 Apr 2023, 5:43 PM

Last updated: Tue 4 Apr 2023, 5:44 PM

The UAE’s Sultan of Space, Sultan AlNeyadi, has completed over a month aboard the orbiting International Space Station (ISS), conducting various scientific experiments for the benefit of humanity and further advancement of space exploration.

AlNeyadi and his Crew-6 mates docked on the ISS on March 3 at 10.40am (UAE time), after blasting off from Kennedy Space Centre a day earlier. Here are some of the key experiments he has conducted in the past 30 days from the orbiting laboratory 400km above Earth, where he also witnessed around 500 sunrises and sunsets:

Harvested, analysed tomatoes grown in space

AlNeyadi is involved in Nasa’s Veg-05 space botany – this research, according to Nasa, focuses on the impact of light quality and fertiliser on fruit production, microbial food safety, nutritional value, taste acceptability by the crew, and the overall behavioural health benefits of having plants and fresh food in space.

Tested medicine, conducted Cardinal Heart 2.0 experiment

The astronaut carried out two investigations that tested clinically approved pharmaceutical drugs to reverse the negative effects on human heart cells and tissues caused by prolonged exposure to the space environment.

AlNeyadi explained: “Through this experiment, we are exploring the effects of clinical drugs on heart cells in microgravity using heart tissues. Discoveries from such studies could help prevent cardiovascular risk for space explorers and patients with heart disease on Earth.”

Participated in sleep study

The Emirati also took part in ‘Sleep Monitoring in Space’, a study that monitors astronauts’ sleep quality during long-duration spaceflight missions aboard the ISS.

Water recycling

Water is a very precious resource in space and AlNeyadi is also tasked to ensure there is a continuous supply of potable water aboard the ISS.

“Ensuring a well-maintained life support system is a key task for astronauts, particularly during long-duration missions,” the astronaut noted as he posted a photo of himself wearing a PPE (personal protective equipment) while working on the tank that recycles water.


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