Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi has completed his final training before embarking on a 6-month space mission. He recently took to social media to express his pride in the UAE flag being featured on the walls of the lab where he completed his training.
Al Neyadi is set to become the third Emirati astronaut to travel to space, following in the footsteps of Hazzaa Al Mansoori and Sultan Al Ali. He will be part of the International Space Station (ISS) mission that is scheduled to take off later this year.
In a message posted on his Twitter handle recently, the astronaut, who is headed for the human space flight mission that’s set to take off on February 26 from Launch Complex 39A at Nasa’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, states, “Last week I completed my last pre-mission training at the NBL Buoyancy Lab with Commander Steve Bowen. What made the occasion even more beautiful was the decoration of the UAE flag on the wall of the laboratory, along with the main partners of the International Space Station. Unable to thank all the staff, administrators, engineers and divers in this distinguished edifice.”
The astronaut’s last training took place at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Star City, Russia. The training program included rigorous physical and mental conditioning, as well as hands-on experience with various space equipment and tools.
In a social media post, Al Neyadi shared his excitement and gratitude for the opportunity to represent the UAE on this historic mission. He expressed how proud he was to see the UAE flag displayed prominently in the training facility, adding that it served as a reminder of the support and encouragement he has received from his home country.
“Crew-6 has finished a final training week here at @SpaceX . In the picture I stand with my awesome crew commander Bowen, pilot Hoburg “Woody” and mission specialist Fedyayev in front of a Falcon 9 booster. Soon we will launch onboard a similar one from @NASAKennedy,” Al Neyadi tweeted.
Al Neyadi’s journey to space is a testament to the UAE’s commitment to space exploration and innovation. The country’s ambitious space program, spearheaded by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), has already achieved several milestones, including the launch of the first Emirati astronaut into space in 2019.
The UAE’s space program has set its sights on even more ambitious goals in the coming years, including sending an unmanned probe to Mars and establishing a human settlement on the Red Planet by 2117.
As Al Neyadi prepares to make history as the third Emirati astronaut in space, his journey serves as an inspiration to young people across the UAE and the world, encouraging them to pursue their dreams and aim for the stars.
Aside from Al Neyadi, the other members of the SpaceX Crew-6 are NASA commander Stephen Bowen, pilot William Hoburg, and Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev. During the mission, Al Neyadi will conduct many in-depth and advanced scientific experiments as part of the UAE Astronaut Programme. Crew-6 will be the sixth operational astronaut mission that SpaceX flies to the ISS for NASA.