Dubai: After spending a month on the International Space Station (ISS), UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi today tweeted images of him receiving the prestigious NASA gold astronaut pin.
He shared two images - one of the gold pin presentation ceremony in which NASA SpaceX Crew-6 commander Stephen Bowen can be seen attaching the pin on Al Neyadi’s T-shirt bearing the Expedition-68 patch - and a close-up shot of the gold pin.
He wrote in the post: “It is a great honour for me to be part of this historic mission, representing my country, the UAE, and to receive NASA’s golden astronaut pin. I will wear this pin as a symbol of the commitment I made when I started on this journey.”
NASA lapel pins denote the astronaut corps. Astronauts receive a silver pin on completion of their basic training while they earn the prestigious gold pin by flying into space.
From the images, it looks like the gold pin presentation ceremony took place before the Crew-6 became part of the Expedition-6, which officially began last week following Tuesday’s undocking of the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft in which SpaceX Crew-5 had launched into the ISS.
Foam and Emulsions investigation
Meanwhile, NASA said Al Neyadi began this week by focusing his science activities on the ‘Foam and Emulsions’ physics experiment that may lead to newer, more advanced space research and expanded commercial opportunities in space.
Foams (dispersions of bubbles in a liquid) and emulsions (dispersions of droplets in a liquid) appear in many food, consumer, and personal care products and are used in a variety of industries.
NASA said the ‘Structure and Stability of Foams and Emulsions (Foams and Emulsions)’ investigation examines the properties and performance of foams and emulsions, including using particles of various shapes and surface roughness to stabilise these materials. Microgravity enables examination of the microstructures of foams and emulsions due to the elimination of the influence of gravity-related factors such as buoyancy of particles.
After having launched into the ISS along with the three other Crew-6 members on March 3, Al Neyadi has spent a busy first month as part of the longest Arab space mission.
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in Dubai that runs the UAE Astronaut Programme cited key experiments and tasks accomplished by Al Neyadi as the following:
Stowing samples of tomatoes to be analysed, testing medicine that could reverse the negative effects of the space environment on heart cells and tissues, participating in a sleep study, transferring supplies and hardware between the USS and the SpaceX CRS-27, conducting ‘Cardinal Heart 2.0’ experiment and working on the tank that recycles water aboard the ISS.