President Sheikh Mohamed speaks to Sultan Al Neyadi before historic UAE space mission

Astronaut will blast off to the International Space Station on Monday morning

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President Sheikh Mohamed has spoken to Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi on the eve of his history-making journey to the International Space Station.

The UAE leader checked on Dr Al Neyadi's preparations ahead of lift-off from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida at 10.45am, UAE time, on Monday.

Nasa and SpaceX have given the green light for the launch date, with the Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon capsule systems looking normal and weather good.

Dr Al Neyadi, 41, will spend six months aboard the ISS in what will be the Arab world's longest space mission.

Messages of support have been pouring in from across the Emirates.

In a message on Twitter, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, spoke of the nation's pride.

"Inspired by the late Sheikh Zayed’s vision, Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi is set to embark on a 6-month mission to the International Space Station,' Sheikh Hamdan wrote.

"We are proud of Sultan, MBRSC [Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre] and everyone who aspires to achieve the best for the UAE."

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Deputy Ruler of Dubai, said the astronaut was fulfilling the dreams of UAE Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

"A new dream comes true for the UAE, led by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre," he wrote on Twitter.

"Our Sultan Al Neyadi embarks on the longest mission for an Arab astronaut to the International Space Station.

"With him our ambitions and our late father, Zayed’s dream, to build the future of humanity grows."

Updated: February 27, 2023, 4:00 AM