First glimpse of UAE's Sultan Al Neyadi in a SpaceX astronaut suit

The Emirati astronaut is set to go on a six-month mission to the International Space Station next spring

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New images released by Nasa show for the first time UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi in a SpaceX astronaut suit, sitting inside a Crew Dragon capsule.

The former IT professional is preparing to go to the International Space Station for a six-month mission, with the launch scheduled for spring 2023 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

In the photos, Dr Al Neyadi, 41, is seen with his SpaceX Crew-6 mission colleagues, including mission specialist Andrey Fedyaev, pilot William Hoburg and commander Stephen Bowen.

The photos were taken during a training session at SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

They are learning how to operate the capsule, which will blast off into space on top of a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida’s Kennedy Space Centre.

This is the UAE’s second mission to the space station and the Arab world’s first long-duration space mission.

Dr Al Neyadi served as a back-up astronaut on that first mission, training alongside Hazza Al Mansouri who made headlines around the world as the first Arab on the ISS and first Emirati in space.

Dr Al Neyadi's journey in the UAE’s space programme began in 2017, when he applied to become an astronaut.

He comes from an IT background, having served as a network security engineer for the armed forces for many years.

He holds a doctorate in information technology from Griffith University in Australia and a degree in electronics and communications engineering from the University of Brighton in England.

Updated: August 17, 2022, 7:23 AM