Watch: Sultan Al Neyadi expresses gratitude ahead of historic homecoming on September 18
Dubai: As Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi is set to return to the UAE on September 18, he sent a message of thanks and gratitude to all those who supported him from the wise leadership to family and friends.
In a video shared by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre ahead of his grand homecoming, Sultan of Space expressed his profound sense of unity and achievement.
In the video, Al Neyadi said: “Hello, this time I greet you from the ground after we returned safely from space. I am overwhelmed with joy upon our return to earth, coupled with the incredible reception and engagement from people near and far.
“Our mission has been accomplished, yet this marks the beginning of a series of contributions we aspire to make in this field. We always emphasise that our mission is but a fragment of a larger, dynamic system. While we were in the vanguard, it was the relentless efforts and dedication of numerous individuals working behind the scenes for countless months that propelled this mission to success.”
He further said: “I find myself at a loss for words to truly express my deep gratitude to everyone who played a role in the success of this mission — from our wise leadership in the UAE to my supportive family and friends, and the committed team at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre.”
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Longest Arab space mission
The 42-year-old Emirati, who blasted off to space on March 3, spent 186 days in space to complete the first long-duration human space flight mission to be undertaken by an Arab aboard the International Space Station (ISS). He scripted history for the second time when he became the first Arab to conduct a spacewalk, an Extravehicular Activity (EVA), in the vacuum of outer space outside the ISS on April 28.
His mission was named Zayed Ambition 2 as it was the second edition of the UAE Astronaut Programme which aimed to fulfil the ambition of the Founding Father of the nation, the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Al Neyadi and his Nasa SpaceX Crew-6 crew members returned to Earth aboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft Endeavour, splashing down at 8.17am GST on September 4, off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida. The foursome, who had orbited the Earth just under 3000 orbits, then flew to Houston.