The historic homecoming of UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, after the longest Arab space mission, has been set for Monday.
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 spaceflight 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 founder of the nation, Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Al Neyadi and his Nasa SpaceX Crew-6 crewmates returned to Earth aboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft Endeavour, splashing down on September 4, off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida. The foursome, who had orbited the Earth just under 3,000 orbits, then flew to Houston.
A top official of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), the agency behind the UAE Astronaut Programme, had then announced that Al Neyadi will be flying into the UAE after two weeks.