Dubai: UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, who is on the longest Arab space mission on the International Space Station (ISS), completed four months in space on Monday, July 3.
Dubbed the Sultan of Space, Al Neyadi had blasted off into space on NASA SpaceX Crew-6 Dragon from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida on March 2 and reached the ISS on March 3.
The 42-year-old Emirati astronaut marked the completion of four months out of his six-month mission in space with a special social media post in which he invited his followers to pose questions about space.
“4 months into my mission and I’m still discovering new experiences in space,” Al Neyadi said in a Twitter post.
“What more would you like to know about life here?” he asked his more-than 113,000 followers on Twitter.
“Leave your questions with #Ask_Sultan and I’ll try to answer as many as possible. Follow @MBRSpaceCentre as I will be sharing my answers there,” he added.
MBRSC, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, is the agency behind the UAE Astronaut Programme that sent Al Neyadi on the UAE’s second astronaut mission to the space titled “Zayed Ambition 2.”
In a video attached to the post, Al Neyadi can be seen floating into the frame with a somersault inside the microgravity laboratory orbiting the Earth every 90 minutes around 420kms above our planet at around 28,000km/hour.
“Greetings from the International Space Station. Space is amazing and living here is not like what we are used to on Earth. Ask me a question and I’ll try to answer it in a simple, scientific way so we can all learn something new. Looking forward to hearing from you,” he said in the video.
The social media interaction is a new way of Al Neyadi to share his experiences with people back on Earth. He has been regularly communicating with leaders, officials, students and other community members across the UAE through live video calls and ham radio sessions organised by the MBRSC through its initiative called “A Call from Space.”
New chapter in UAE’s space journey
Al Neyadi has scripted many new chapters in the UAE’s space exploration history.
The first Arab astronaut to embark on a long-duration space mission, he became the first Najmonaut (Arab astronaut) to conduct a spacewalk (Extravehicular Activity) outside the ISS and the first astronaut to perform martial art jiu-jitsu in space among other achievements.
He has also been conducting various scientific experiments that are set to revolutionise medical discoveries and help scientists working in various fields.