UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi
UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi is expected to follow a three-week schedule to readapt to life on Earth once he returns from space, his colleague and the first Emirati astronaut Hazzaa Al Mansoori has revealed.

Al Neyadi, along with NASA SpaceX Crew-6, is scheduled to splash down off the coast of Florida on Monday morning after completing the longest Arab space mission that lasted for six months aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

As per standard NASA protocol, the post-mission phase for astronauts involves a carefully planned schedule to ensure their physical and psychological well-being during the reintegration process.

In a video shared by the Dubai Media Office on social media, pioneering UAE astronaut Al Mansoori, who became the first Arab Increment Lead for an ISS expedition during Al Neyadi’s Expedition 69, explained that Al Neyadi will have an assigned schedule for approximately three weeks during the post-mission phase.

He said Dr Hanan Al Suwaidi, flight surgeon, UAE Astronaut Programme at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre (MBRSC) in Dubai, along with the doctors at NASA and specialised doctors will prepare a schedule for Sultan that suits his health status.

“Machines aboard the ISS are used to help astronauts stay fit.

"After returning to Earth it takes some time to readjust to the gravity environment which can be a gradual process. Sometimes it takes days or weeks,” explained Al Mansoori.

Al Neyadi will continue to take part in scientific experiments after his arrival. “There is also a second part that involves scientific experiments. We aren’t done yet. Many researchers are interested in studying how humans readapt after returning from space. They have a database which they use to compare data from former current, or future astronauts, and they collect all the information [and study],” Al Mansoori added.

Medical monitoring

Meanwhile, Dr Al Suwaidi gave a glimpse into the medical monitoring of Al Neyadi.

“Before returning [to Earth], there is a different programme [for astronauts,” she pointed out in another video.

“Exercising is one of the most important things during this period.

Sport exercises are important for preserving the key organs in the human body, namely bones and muscles. This makes it easier for astronauts to start rehabilitation programmes and return to normal situations after their return,” explained.

“The exercise programme will continue with a duration of around two hours per day and there will be some changes in the weights lifted prior to returning.”

Dr Al Suwaidi said astronauts are monitored on a weekly

basis to ensure their readiness. “After their return, we will welcome them and the medical crew will receive

them upon their descent. We will ensure that they are in good health by accompanying them from the first moments until we are certain of their recovery and return to normalcy,” she added.