Emirati Astronaut Sultan al-Neyadi Triumphantly Returns Home After Historic Space Mission
UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi
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Emirati astronaut Sultan al-Neyadi has returned to the UAE after successfully completing a historic Arab space mission and splashing down on Earth two weeks ago.

The UAE aircraft, carrying Al-Neyadi and his team from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC), landed at Abu Dhabi airport at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.

Immediately after landing, several aircraft displaying the UAE flag’s colors took off from the airport to celebrate the astronaut’s return.

Al-Neyadi was warmly welcomed by his family, who eagerly awaited his arrival outside the gate and embraced him tightly as he disembarked from the plane.

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the ruler of UAE Sheikh Hamdan bin Moahmmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum greeted Al-Neyadi and congratulated him on the success of his space mission.

“I hope to see the UAE flag on Mars and the moon one day,” said the Emirati astronaut as he greeted the dignitaries.

Al-Neyadi expressed his sentiments on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Sunday: “From the start of the 5-year preparations for the mission to spending over 180 days in space, this has been the experience of a lifetime. After returning to Earth, it’s time to come home. I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow in our beloved UAE.”

On September 4, he returned to Earth after completing a six-month mission on the International Space Station. Al-Neyadi and his fellow crewmates, aboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule, splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida following a 17-hour space journey.

People across the UAE eagerly awaited Al-Neyadi’s return to Earth, with electronic billboards counting down the days to his arrival and displaying messages like “Safe Journey, Sultan.”

Since returning two weeks ago, Al-Neyadi has been undergoing a recovery program in Houston, Texas, to readjust to Earth’s gravity.

Salem AlMarri, the Director General of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC), posted on X on Sunday that the UAE space team was with Al-Neyadi in Houston as they prepared for his journey back home.

AlMarri also emphasized Al-Neyadi’s yearning to return to his homeland.

“Praise be to God, the program and work schedule that he started after returning from the International Space Station are continuing, and everything is going well. Every time we speak, he tells us about his enthusiasm and longing for his homeland after being away for over a year, split between training and a mission in space,” the Director General wrote on X.

During his mission, Al-Neyadi conducted over 200 experiments aboard the orbiting outpost. These experiments ranged from studying human cell growth in space and controlling combustible materials in microgravity to conducting tissue chip research on heart, brain, and cartilage functions. He also explored sleep quality in space, which could help develop therapies to improve sleep quality and overall health during extended space missions. Additionally, he investigated the effects of microgravity on the human heart and performed maintenance tasks onboard the ISS.

Source: with agencies

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