Sultan Al Neyadi returns to Earth after six months
Sultan Al Neyadi's time on board the ISS
Natural beauty of Arab world captured from space by Al Neyadi
Who is Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi?
Dr Al Neyadi's journey through the UAE’s space programme started in 2017, when he applied to become an astronaut.
The father-of-five 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.
“When the astronaut programme was first launched, more than 4,000 people applied, a lot of Emiratis wanted to be part of it,” he said.
Dr Al Neyadi blazed a trail alongside Hazza Al Mansouri after being selected in 2018 as the UAE's first astronauts.
Soon after selection, Dr Al Neyadi and Maj Al Mansouri, a former fighter jet pilot, took off to Russia’s Star City to start their 12-month training for the country’s first space mission.
They learnt the Russian language, carried out survival training in the brutally cold winter and spent hours each day in gravity simulators.
They also travelled across Europe for short training programmes.
A year later, he told of his excitement as his colleague Maj Mansouri became the first Emirati to travel on board the ISS, on an eight-day trip.
He served as a back-up astronaut on that mission, training alongside Maj Mansouri who made headlines around the world as the first Arab on the ISS and first Emirati in space.
In 2020, the UAE reached an agreement with Nasa to train its astronauts.
From 2020 to early 2022, Dr Al Neyadi and Maj Al Mansouri took part in the basic training programme at Nasa’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas.
The training was much more advanced. They spent hours underneath the world’s largest indoor swimming pool, flew supersonic jets and learnt how to perform spacewalks.
They travelled to Canada to learn how to operate the robotic arm on the space station, which helps receive cargo.
Their graduation made them eligible for Nasa-led missions to space.
Dr Al Neyadi underwent mission-specific training in Houston, including learning how to operate the Crew Dragon spacecraft.
He is serving as mission specialist and as an operator on the space station.
New life in Houston
Dr Al Neyadi has spent the vast bulk of his life in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi but as a Nasa-trained astronaut his current residence is in Houston, at least until his six-month mission on the ISS has ended.
The completion of the basic training programme, and the UAE's growing partnership with Nasa, means Emirati astronauts could be part of more US-led missions in future, including to the Moon.
"I'm really privileged and happy to be part of the UAE's space programme," Dr Al Neyadi said.
"We are looking to conduct even more successful missions and hopefully this will be only the beginning.
"There are many, many good plans of going back to the Moon. I think we will be a key player in that one as well. We're ready and excited."
In A Closer Look, The National provides an in-depth take on one of the main stories of the week
On Saturday, Dr Al Neyadi will leave the ISS and begin his 24-hour journey back to Earth.
But what will he need to do to prepare for the trip, and how will he adapt to no longer being in space?
Host Sarah Forster speaks to The National's Space Editor Sarwat Nasir to find out.