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30 Aug 2023

Sultan Al Neyadi's Historic Return: The Longest Arab Space Mission

Astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi is poised for his Earth return on September 3 after an unprecedented six-month journey in space, marking the longest Arab space mission ever. Stationed aboard the International Space Station, Al Neyadi has been at the forefront of scientific exploration, completing over 200 experiments, including groundbreaking host-pathogen research.

Announced by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), Sultan Al Neyadi’s odyssey aboard the ISS concludes as he, alongside NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg, as well as Roscosmos’s Andrey Fedyaev, prepare to depart via the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft Endeavour on September 2. Their return voyage culminates with a splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico near Tampa, Florida, following meticulous preparations and weather condition assessments.

The Crew Dragon will detach from the ISS autonomously on September 2, initiating a series of maneuvers to align for a smooth re-entry and landing. Deploying its parachutes for a gentle descent, the spacecraft is scheduled to make a controlled splashdown, marking the end of a historic mission that commenced on March 2 aboard the same spacecraft.

Throughout his stay, Al Neyadi collaborated with global space agencies and academic institutions, contributing to a wide array of studies from plant genetics to advanced space exploration technologies. His mission, enriched with over 200 scientific experiments, has significantly contributed to the scientific and educational communities both in the UAE and globally. Notably, Al Neyadi made history as the first Arab astronaut to conduct a spacewalk, demonstrating the UAE's growing prominence in space exploration.

In addition to his scientific achievements, Al Neyadi conducted 19 “A Call from Space” educational outreach events , engaging over 10,000 participants worldwide, highlighting the mission's impact beyond scientific discovery.

As Sultan Al Neyadi and the Crew-6 team wrap up their mission, they are facilitating a seamless transition with the newly arrived Crew-7 astronauts, ensuring the continuous flow of exploration and discovery aboard the ISS.


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