Watch: UAE cheers for astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi as liftoff is live-streamed in schools, offices

It was a historic moment and a source of pride not only for Emiratis but all other expats who call the country home


Nasreen Abdulla

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Photo by Shihab
Photo by Shihab

Published: Thu 2 Mar 2023, 2:40 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Mar 2023, 2:54 PM

As Sultan Al Neyadi blasted off to space in what will be the longest Arab mission in the cosmos, half a world away in Dubai and elsewhere across the UAE, schools and offices watched the broadcast of the launch live.

Some students of the Cambridge International School in Dubai watched the launch live in their classes.

“It was a historic moment and some of us wanted to watch the blast-off,” said Insiya Bahrainwala, a student of Grade 8 in the school. “So our teacher played the live link on YouTube. It was very cool to hear the countdown and watch the rocket blast off.”

Insiya and her friends counted down to the launch of the rocket along with the Nasa team, and celebrated when the rocket took off.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, was on the ground at the MBRSC as the rocket carrying AlNeyadi and his Crew-6 mates took off from Florida on Thursday morning.

The leader was seen smiling as he clapped along with MBRSC officials as soon as they got word about the successful liftoff.

Meanwhile, several residents across the country watched the video from their offices.

Friends Jason Moore and Mukund Menda had a viewing party from their respective locations. Mukund was at home while Jason was shuttling between events in Abu Dhabi.

“I watched the launch at home while on a call with Jason,” said Mukund. “We both felt a great sense of awe on the technical challenges overcome that make these launches look routine.”

Jason said he was shuttling between workplaces when Mukund called.

“I was already juggling several events in Abu Dhabi,” he said. “But I couldn't miss this very historic Dragon launch. I first saw it on a Twitter account. Then Mukund sent me the Youtube link and I caught the launch live with him while on the run.”

According to Mukund, it was a moment of pride for him. “Having the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre and Sultan Neyadi on this mission gave us great pride and hope for the future for all Arabs to be involved in the journey, especially as we are long-term permanent residents in the UAE,” he said.


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