Sultan Al Neyadi enjoys taste of Emirati honey in space

UAE astronaut's Instagram page serves as a digital diary of his life in orbit

UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi shows what happens to honey in space

UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi shows what happens to honey in space
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Sultan Al Neyadi has been sharing glimpses of his life aboard the International Space Station with Instagram followers.

On Sunday, the Emirati astronaut posted a clip of him enjoying honey and bread, plus all the quirks of eating in zero gravity.

“Have you ever wondered how honey forms in space?” Dr Al Neyadi wrote in the caption, while video showed him squeezing a bottle of honey beneath a floating slice of bread.

The viscous substance slowly floats on to the bread, forming a wobbly blob. The video shows Dr Al Neyadi leaving the snack hanging in low gravity before biting into it.

“I still have some Emirati honey left that I enjoy from time to time. Honey has many benefits, especially for the health of astronauts,” he said.

This is not the first time Dr Al Neyadi has posted about Emirati honey on his Instagram account, which has become his online diary of his life in space since his six-month mission on the ISS began in March.

He will begin his journey home to Earth next month along with three other astronauts.

Dr Al Neyadi posted about Emirati honey during World Bee Day on May 20. “Bees are unsung heroes, playing a vital role in our ecosystem and food production. Even here in space, we’re reminded of their impact on Earth," he told his audience.

The honey, he added, comes from Al Khawaneej in Dubai. Aside from its health benefits, the food has become an integral part of the UAE's sustainable agriculture.

There are hundreds of apiaries in the country which are home to two types of bees: native wild honeybees (Apis florea) and imported honeybees (Apis mellifera). In 2017, the UAE Beekeepers Association was established to help to support the national industry.

Dr Al Neyadi often shares his food-related adventures on the ISS. In one of his earlier videos, he showed how he makes his coffee in space, where he fills a vacuum sealed pouch with water.

“In space as on earth, the day only starts with coffee,” he said.

In a video posted on July 31, he showed some of the foods he took with him on board the ISS. They included a variety of breads, canned goods and sweets stored in space-proof packaging.

Food and nutrition in space are crucial subjects for Nasa. In fact, one of the current space mission's experiments is called Plant Habitat-03, where the goal is to grow thale cress, collect its seeds and use them to grow another set on the ISS.

Part of the mustard family, thale cress is widely used for plant research.

Dr Al Neyadi talks about this in some of his videos. In one posted on Monday, he shows the plant chamber aboard the ISS, and discusses collection of samples to be sent to scientists on Earth.

“By planting plants here, we can study their growth in a microgravity environment,” he said.

Updated: August 21, 2023, 1:21 PM