Sultan Al Neyadi 'in good health' after returning to Earth from space

Emirati astronaut has completed his six-month mission on the International Space Station

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UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi has said he is in good health after returning to Earth at the end of his historic space mission.

He spent six months on board the International Space Station and travelled back home on Monday on a SpaceX capsule.

Dr Al Neyadi is to spend several days undergoing medical tests in Houston, Texas, before he returns to the UAE to receive a hero's welcome.

"From Earth to space and back," he said on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Wednesday.

"I write to you with gravity under my feet and warmth in my heart from all the love and support you all have shared.

"Thank you all for being part of this journey with me. Friends, I’m in good health and looking forward to meeting you all very soon."

This was the UAE’s second human space flight and the Arab world’s first long-term mission. Dr Al Neyadi also became the first Arab astronaut to perform a spacewalk.

President Sheikh Mohamed on Monday congratulated Dr Al Neyadi on his return to Earth.

“Sultan Al Neyadi, the people of the UAE are immensely proud of you and the entire team for achieving major advances in space exploration,” Sheikh Mohamed wrote on X.

“You carried the dreams of a nation to new frontiers, and we celebrate your pioneering journey and safe return."

Dr Al Neyadi carried out more than 200 science experiments aboard the ISS, including those assigned by Nasa and others set out by universities across the UAE.

He also spent time documenting Earth from above, capturing images of countries in the Mena region.

Pupils across the UAE spoke with him through live calls, as part of the A Call from Space initiative launched by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, which oversees the country’s astronaut programme.

Hazza Al Mansouri, the first Emirati astronaut to travel to space, was given a hero's welcome when he returned from an eight-day mission on the ISS in 2019.

He was received by Sheikh Mohamed.

Moment UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi emerges from Dragon capsule

Moment UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi emerges from Dragon capsule

The UAE now waits to welcome Dr Al Neyadi, who floated his way into history books with his work on the orbiting outpost.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre will announce the dates of his homecoming soon.

He will then return to the US for mission debriefing, during which he will work with researchers to complete the science investigations he took part in.

He will report back on the work he did in space and participate in tests to measure the effect microgravity had on his mental and physical health.

Dr Al Neyadi will also participate in a mandatory recovery programme that will help him acclimate to gravity again.

Updated: September 06, 2023, 8:22 AM