Sultan Al Neyadi carries out space experiments on substances and liquids

The Emirati astronaut will take part in more than 200 science experiments while on board

Dr Al Neyadi carries out experiments at the Columbus lab on the ISS. Photo: Sultan Al Neyadi@Twitter
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UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi has started carrying out science experiments on substances and liquids at the International Space Station.

On Wednesday, he shared a video on Twitter, discussing the tests in which he will be involved.

"For more than 20 years, humans have been carrying out experiments on board International Space Station," he said.

"I am at the Columbus laboratory and we are doing experiments on substances and liquids, as well as on plant cultivation."

Columbus is a pressurised lab on the ISS, which Nasa says allows researchers on the ground, aided by the station’s crew, to conduct research in a weightless environment.

Dr Al Neyadi, 41, said such experiments are important to improve the quality of human life.

"Why do we do this? All these things help us in our daily life to develop construction materials and materials that we can use in everyday life. It's used to modify plants and increase produce and a lot of other things that benefit mankind," he said.

"Some experiments and studies are being carried out on us, astronauts, to see the impact of the lack of gravity on human beings and how dangerous it is travelling to space. In the future, there are plans to return to the Moon and go to Mars for the first time and these studies will help.

"The studies also aim to find out the effect of lack of gravity on osteoporosis, DNA mutations and blood vessels.

"Thank God, the UAE took the first step in 2019 when colleague Hazza Al Mansouri reached this place [the ISS] and today we complete this path with a six-month mission.

"During these six months, I will be taking part in many scientific experiments and the results will be shared with you during this period."

On Tuesday, it was announced that Dr Al Neyadi would take part in a study of human heart tissue.

It is hoped the research will help scientists on Earth to devise therapy and medication that could prevent people developing heart disease.

Dr Al Neyadi is the second Emirati to travel to space and the second Arab to board the ISS.

During his time there, he will take part in more than 200 experiments assigned by Nasa and 19 involving UAE universities.

His mission comes after five years of rigorous training around the world.

He was one of the first two astronauts chosen by the UAE in 2018, alongside Mr Al Mansouri, who became the first Emirati in space the following year.

Dr Al Neyadi trained in Russia, parts of Europe and Canada, in addition to completing Nasa’s basic training programme in Houston. He also underwent mission-specific training for this trip.

He has learnt to speak Russian, spent hours each day in space simulators to familiarise his body with the effects of microgravity, trained to fly supersonic jets and completed spacewalk training.

Sultan Al Neyadi's life on the International Space Station - in pictures

Updated: March 15, 2023, 3:15 PM