Sultan Al Neyadi chosen to be first Arab astronaut to join ISS mission
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UAE’s Sultan Al Neyadi chosen to be first Arab astronaut to join ISS mission

UAE’s Sultan Al Neyadi chosen to be first Arab astronaut to join ISS mission

Al Neyadi will conduct many in-depth and advanced scientific experiments during the six-month space mission scheduled to launch in 2023

Neesha Salian
Sultan Al Neyadi is the first Arab astronaut to join the six-month mission to the International Space Station (ISS)/ Pic: MBRSC

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has named Sultan Al Neyadi as the first Arab astronaut to join the six-month mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

In April, the UAE announced the launch of the space mission to the ISS, with the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) signing a strategic cooperation in human spaceflight with Axiom Space, a leading human spaceflight and infrastructure company.

Read: UAE to send Emirati astronaut to International Space Station for six months

The agreement also strengthened the collaboration between the MBRSC and American space agency NASA, as the two entities will collaborate extensively over the duration of the six-month mission.

According to state news agency WAM, the UAE will become the eleventh country in history to send a long-term mission to space.

Al Neyadi was selected among several Emirati astronauts to be the first Arab astronaut to engage in a long-term space mission to the ISS. He will join NASA, Space-X and Crew-6’s mission scheduled for launch in the first half of 2023 from Florida’s Kennedy Space Centre.

During the mission, Al Neyadi will conduct many in-depth and advanced scientific experiments as part of the UAE Astronaut Programme.

 

Following the announcement of Al Neyadi’s selection, UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said in a statement that the UAE is strengthening its stature in the space sector and Al Neyadi represents an inspiration for the Emirati and Arab youth.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed congratulated the Emirati people on Al Neyadi’s selection for the mission. He highlighted that Al Neyadi is a role model for the Emirati youth who we are proud of, and will be an ambassador for all Arabs in the space race, stressing that the country is estab-lishing the foundations of this vital sector by supplying it with qualified national cadres, launch-ing further scientific projects related to space exploration, and supporting related industries.

Al Neyadi will be the second Emirati astronaut to fly to space, after Hazza Al-Mansouri spent eight days in the ISS in 2019 when he blasted into space on a Russian Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, also shared the news on Twitter.

 

Sultan Al-Neyadi also took to Twitter to express his gratitude and excitement at being chosen for the mission. He thanked the UAE’s leaders for their support, saying he would “raise the UAE flag high in space once more”.

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