Dubai: Dubai residents on Wednesday got a surprise gift from UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi—a breathtaking night view of the emirate from the International Space Station (ISS).
Tweeting the image, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, the agency behind the UAE Astronaut Programme, said the “awe-inspiring photograph paints a picture of the nation's extraordinary achievements both on Earth and beyond.”
The ‘Sultan of Space,’ who is on the longest Arab space mission on the ISS, had shared the spectacular image on social media with the hashtag #MyDubai and emojis of sparkling stars and a white heart.
“Dubai shines almost as bright as the stars up here,” he wrote in the description for the image, which vividly shows the brightly lit Palm Jumeirah and other developments on the coastline of the emirate.
Sharing stunning videos and photos of Earth from his temporary home for six months is one of the activities that the ‘Najmonaut’ loves to do. Najmonaut is a coinage of the Arabic word Najm and astronaut to refer to an Arab astronaut. Najm means star in Arabic.
Al Neyadi had started off this exciting activity by astronauts on the USS by sharing a video of his first views of the Earth from the Cupola of the space station, days after he blasted off to space on March 2.
UAE from space
Earlier, he had shared images of the UAE, Abu Dhabi and his hometown in Al Ain.
In April, he gave a ‘space tour’ of the Arabian Peninsula from the ISS to his followers back on Earth.
On Laylat Al Qadr, observed as the Night of Power on the 27th night of Ramadan, he had shared a video of Mecca and Madina lit up at night, with the Grand Mosque shining bright. He had also posted views of Egypt and Africa from space on different occasions.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Emirati astronaut shared new images from his historic spacewalk on Friday.
“If you venture in pursuit of glory, don’t be satisfied with less than the stars,” he captioned the post by quoting a poem written by Iraqi poet Al Mutanabbi.
US space agency NASA had earlier used these words from the 10th century poet while congratulating the UAE when the country made history when its Mars Hope Probe successfully entered the Red Planet’s orbit in February 2021.
Al Neyadi also chose to use the same words after scripting history by becoming the first Arab to conduct an Extravehicular Activity (EVA) outside the ISS along with NASA astronaut Stephen Bowen, who ventured to outer space for the eighth time. The duo carried out station maintenance and upgrade tasks over seven hours and one minute.