'I enjoy doing somersaults in space': UAE astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi tells students

This was the sixth edition of 'A Call from Space' event, which is a part of the live call series


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Wed 14 Jun 2023, 8:31 PM

Last updated: Wed 14 Jun 2023, 8:48 PM

Students in Ras Al Khaimah on Wednesday had a chance to speak to Emirati astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi, who is currently onboard the International Space Station (ISS).

This was the sixth edition of 'A Call from Space' event, which is a part of the live call series. This edition was hosted at the Higher Colleges of Technology – Ras Al Khaimah Women’s Campus.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Saud Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah, also graced the occasion with his presence and interacted with Al Neyadi.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Saud Al Qasimi asserted that the UAE, under the leadership of the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is delivering exceptional scientific achievements that are enhancing the country’s position in the field of space exploration across the Arab world and internationally, and said, “Creative Emirati minds are overcoming challenges, harnessing space science and inspiring our people to make further strides towards our objectives for comprehensive sustainable development, supported at every step by a wise leadership that provides all the ingredients for success.”

“We are immensely proud of what Emirati astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi continues to achieve through research and discovery during the longest space mission ever conducted by an Arab, aboard the International Space Station,” Sheikh Mohamed added, asserting that Ras Al Khaimah strongly believes in supporting and empowering young people to enhance their capabilities and deepen their understanding of science and technology, an ambition that stems from the vision of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.

“Today, we take great pride in the successes of the Emirate’s people, who continually express their unwavering will and strong desire to elevate the UAE’s name and standing across numerous fields,” Sheikh Mohamed said.

AlNeyadi welcomed Sheikh Mohamed, and said: “We are deeply honoured by your presence today and express profound gratitude for your steadfast support.”

AlNeyadi shared his excitement at being able to engage with the attendees, adding that it was “a privilege to interact with everyone at the esteemed Higher Colleges of Technology — Ras Al Khaimah Women’s Campus” and shared more about his life aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

— Supplied photos
— Supplied photos

Over 1,000 participants from educational institutions, including schools, universities, and government entities, attended the event. AlNeyadi engaged in a lively interactive session, addressing inquiries from students and officials regarding water transportation in space, climate change monitoring, and his return to Earth.

Additionally, younger attendees inquired about the presence of robots in space and AlNeyadi's favourite activity on the International Space Station (ISS). In response, he expressed his enjoyment of doing somersaults while on the ISS.

Salem Humaid AlMarri, Director General, MBRSC, said: “We appreciate Sheikh Mohamed bin Saud Al Qasimi’s gesture to grace us with his presence, which added value to this significant event. We also extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the attendees who joined us today. The scientific endeavours that drive missions such as that undertaken by AlNeyadi aim to enrich our existence and guide humanity towards a greater understanding of the universe. Through ‘A Call from Space’, we aim to bridge the gap between space and Earth, facilitating an exchange of knowledge and sparking the public’s interest in space exploration.”


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