• Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi in his homeland after historic space mission

At the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, backup spaceflight participant Sultan Al-Neyadi of the United Arab Emirates listens to a reporter’s question Aug. 29 during the crew’s qualification exams. Al-Neyadi is one of the backups to the prime crew, spaceflight participant Hazzaa Ali Almansoori of the United Arab Emirates and Expedition 61 crewmembers Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos and Jessica Meir of NASA, who will launch Sept. 25 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft for a mission on the International Space Station. NASA/Beth Weissinger

Dubai: An out-of-this-world welcome awaits UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi in his homeland as he lands in Abu Dhabi on Monday, September 18, after his triumphant journey from space to Earth. The nation is set to honour the ‘Sultan of Space’ after he completed the longest Arab space mission onboard the International Space Station (ISS) – lasting six months – and the first spacewalk by an Arab.

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Al Neyadi, along with three other NASA SpaceX Crew-6 crewmates, splashed down from the ISS in the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft Endeavour off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida in the US at 8.17am UAE time on September 4. They then flew to NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston, US, for a two-week rehabilitation programme to readjust to gravity and life on Earth.

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A hero’s welcome has been arranged for the 42-year-old Emirati astronaut from Al Ain who is returning home after more than a year, including the six months he spent aboard the ISS and the training period away from the UAE.

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