UAE leaders have congratulated Sultan al-Neyadi upon his safe return to Earth and successful completion of a historic space mission that earned him the recognition of being the first Arab to perform a spacewalk.
UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Moahmmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; and Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Makhtoum took to social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, to express their pride and appreciation for the Emirati astronaut.
“The people of the UAE are immensely proud of you and the entire team for achieving major advances in space exploration. You carried the dreams of a nation to new frontiers and we celebrate your pioneering journey and safe return,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed wrote on X.
@Astro_AlNeyadi, the people of the UAE are immensely proud of you and the entire team for achieving major advances in space exploration. You carried the dreams of a nation to new frontiers, and we celebrate your pioneering journey and safe return.— محمد بن زايد (@MohamedBinZayed) September 4, 2023
Al-Neyadi navigated a 17-hour space journey back to Earth in the SpaceX Dragon capsule, alongside his three crewmates. They successfully splashed down off the coast of Florida on Monday, bringing back critical research from their time spent at the International Space Station (ISS).
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid highlighted al-Neyadi’s pivotal role in inspiring “millions of Arab youth,” and his significant contribution towards space research and science.
“We congratulate the people of the Emirates and all Arab youth on the safe return of Sultan Al Neyadi to planet Earth, the first Arab astronaut on a long mission to the International Space Station. Sultan conducted 200 scientific research missions .. and spent more than 4,400 hours in space .. and inspired millions of Arab youth that we are able to contribute positively to humanity’s scientific and civilized march ..,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid wrote on X.
نهنىء شعب الإمارات وجميع الشباب العربي بالعودة السالمة لسلطان النيادي لكوكب الأرض - أول رائد فضاء عربي في مهمة طويلة في محطة الفضاء الدولية. أجرى سلطان 200 مهمة بحثية علمية .. وقضى أكثر من 4400 ساعة في الفضاء .. وألهم ملايين الشباب العربي بأننا قادرون على المساهمة الإيجابية في…— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) September 4, 2023
Al-Neyadi conducted hundreds of experiments in space, ranging from human cell growth in space, controlling combustible materials in microgravity, tissue chip research on heart, brain and cartilage functions, studying sleep quality intended to help develop therapies for astronauts to improve sleep quality and their overall health during extended space missions, along with the effects of microgravity on the human heart and maintenance tasks onboard ISS.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed also celebrated the UAE astronaut’s return and expressed his optimism for a bright Arab future.
“Today, we celebrate Sultan AlNeyadi’s return to earth after the longest Arab space mission ever – a milestone moment for a nation whose ambitions know no limits. As we look towards new adventures in space, the UAE continues to pursue its vision for a brighter Arab future,” Sheikh Hamdan said on X.
Driven by Zayed's vision, the UAE has embarked on a remarkable journey from desert to space . Today, we celebrate Sultan AlNeyadi's return to earth after the longest Arab space mission ever - a milestone moment for a nation whose ambitions know no limits. As we look towards new…— Hamdan bin Mohammed (@HamdanMohammed) September 4, 2023
Al-Neyadi is only the second person from the UAE to fly to space and the first to launch from US soil as part of a long-duration ISS team.
He is expected to receive a hero’s welcome upon his return home soon, after undergoing medical evaluation in the US.