Astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi to Return to UAE on September 18

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UAE astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi. MBRSC

Updated on September 18, 2023

UAE astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi is expected to land in Abu Dhabi on Monday (September 18) for a hero’s welcome following his historic space mission.

The 42-year-old posted a photo on Monday showing him boarding an Al Ain airplane to return to the UAE. The photo also features UAE astronauts Nora Al Matrooshi and Mohammed Al Mulla, as well as officials from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), which will stream AlNeyadi’s return to the UAE at 5:30pm.

AlNeyadi’s return to the UAE at 5:30pm.

AlNeyadi has been recovering in Houston, Texas after returning to Earth on September 4 aboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule that splashed down off the coast of Florida. The UAE astronaut had spent six months aboard  the International Space Station, creating records: the Arab world’s first extended space mission and also the first time that an Arab astronaut performed a spacewalk.

“I am ready for the next mission,” AlNeyadi said after he landed on Earth. He has undergone a recovery programme in Houston, Texas that all NASA astronauts go through after long-duration missions. The 42-year-old astronaut is expected to hold talks with schools and universities about his unique space experience.

He is expected to return to the US after a week in the UAE for further debriefing and assessing the results of the experiments he conducted onboard the ISS.

Onboard the ISS, AlNeyadi carried out science experiments, while also interacting with people on Earth through live calls organized by MBRSC.

AlNeyadi is part of the UAE’s four-member astronaut team that also includes Hazza Al Mansouri, the first Emirati in space, and Nora Al Matrooshi and Mohammed Al Mulla, who both trained at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston.

The space centre previously announced that it aims to send Emirati astronauts to space every two to three years. The UAE also aims to land on the Moon. ICA/Expat Media

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