Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, today met UAE astronauts Sultan Al Neyadi, Hazzaa Al Mansoori and Mohammad Al Mulla along with the ‘Zayed Ambition 2’ team from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC).
The meeting was held in the presence of Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE, at Za’abeel Palace in Dubai.
Sheikh Mohammed said that under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE has successfully positioned itself as a key player in shaping the future of the world across numerous critical sectors focused on enhancing the quality of human life. The UAE has demonstrated remarkable determination in its pursuit of global leadership in the field of space exploration, and with the dedication of Emirati talent, it has successfully garnered worldwide recognition for its outstanding accomplishments in this sector, Sheikh Mohammed added.
Sheikh Mohammed praised Al Neyadi, Al Mansoori and the MBRSC team for their exemplary role in strengthening the UAE’s status as a global frontrunner in space exploration.
“We value each accomplishment of our brightest minds in advancing the country’s journey towards progress and innovation. The commitment of Al Neyadi and Al Mansoori serves as an inspiring model for Emirati and Arab youth, as well as young people worldwide, striving to attain the highest levels of excellence in crucial fields that benefit humanity and shape a better future for the world,” he said.
During the meeting, also attended by Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, and other senior officials, Sheikh Mohammed further praised the unwavering commitment and zeal demonstrated by the MBRSC team, underscoring their meticulous preparations and adept handling of every phase of the mission. Their exemplary performance reflects the UAE’s commitment to excellence on the global stage and showcases the resilience of its people, Sheikh Mohammed said.
In his meeting with Al Neyadi and Al Mansoori, Sheikh Mohammed was briefed on the outcomes of the longest Arab space mission, which concluded last month. Al Neyadi, who spent six months onboard the ISS, briefed Sheikh Mohammed on the research experiments and studies he conducted in collaboration with international space agencies and entities. He also shared his experience conducting the first Arab spacewalk, which lasted seven hours and one minute.
Al Mansoori, who was the first Arab increment lead for Expedition 69, also briefed His Highness about his role during the mission, which included supporting Al Neyadi and his fellow crew members in coordinating experiments, daily tasks and other activities on the ISS from the Mission Control Centre in Houston.
Sheikh Mohammed congratulated the two UAE astronauts for their contributions to realising the late Sheikh Zayed’s ambition to transform the UAE into a leader in the international space industry. As a token of appreciation and gratitude, Al Neyadi presented HH Sheikh Mohammed with the UAE flag that he carried to the International Space Station (ISS).
During the meeting, Sheikh Mohammed was also briefed by the MBRSC team about the latest training programmes that UAE astronauts Al Mulla and Nora Al Matrooshi are undergoing to prepare for future human spaceflight missions.
The meeting was also attended by Talal Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Vice President of MBRSC; HHamad Obaid AlMansoori, Chairman of MBRSC; Salem Humaid AlMarri, Director General of MBRSC; UAE astronaut Mohammad Al Mulla along with team members from the ‘Zayed Ambition 2’ mission.
Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori expressed his appreciation to Sheikh Mohammed for his unwavering support of the MBRSC team, which has played a significant role in the achievements that have strengthened the UAE’s global presence in the space sector.
“A pivotal accomplishment is the mission led by Al Neyadi to the ISS. In alignment with the ever-changing dynamics of the space sector, we remain committed to nurturing our teams, promoting innovation, and paving the way for the next frontier. Our goal is to establish a collaborative global platform for the exchange of knowledge and expertise. We will also continue to invest in missions, projects and initiatives that will set unparalleled standards in space science and exploration.”
Salem Humaid Al Marri, said, “The mission undertaken by Al Neyadi, during which he spent six months aboard the ISS and conducted a series of important experiments, symbolises a monumental stride for MBRSC, setting the precedent for what’s next in our human spaceflight missions. We are resolute in our ambition to propel MBRSC’s initiatives to even greater heights, shaping the future of space exploration and ensuring that innovation and discovery always stand at the forefront.”
The ‘Zayed Ambition 2’ mission was launched as part of the UAE Astronaut Programme, which is one of the projects managed by MBRSC under the UAE’s National Space Programme. During the mission, Al Neyadi devoted 600 hours to conduct 200 experiments on the ISS, which represent key contributions that further consolidate the nation’s legacy in the global space arena.