Emirati astronauts Sultan Al Neyadi (right) and Hazza Al Mansouri Image Credit: @astro_hazzaa

Dubai: Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi is all set to embark on the six-month mission to the International Space Station as part of the Crew-6 space mission starting on Monday. He will be the second Emirati to go into space, following in the footsteps of Hazza Al Mansouri who made history in 2019 as the first person from the UAE to reach space.

On Sunday, Al Neyadi received well wishes from Al Mansouri in a video posted on social media prior to his departure. In the video (posted by Sky News Arabia presenter Sultan Albadi), Al Mansouri advised Al Neyadi to enjoy the gravity of Earth as he will miss it for the next six months.

‘We’re proud of you’

He also expressed his pride in Al Neyadi and wished him all the best for his upcoming mission, stating that “We are with you. We are proud of you. You were part of the first mission and now we are part of the second mission. We are all one team with one shared goal, which is to raise UAE’s flag in space.”

The Crew-6 space mission concluded preparations for the launch on Monday at 10:45 am UAE time. Al Neyadi was joined by his family and friends in Florida before the start of the mission. He expressed his gratitude towards them and said that he would live up to their trust and that of his large family in the UAE.

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Sultan Al Neyadi and Hazza Al Mansouri, Emirati astronauts. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

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The success of the first Emirati mission to space in 2019 was a source of enthusiasm and pride for the UAE and the region. The six-month mission will now contribute to enhancing the development of the UAE’s space programme, and it is hoped that it will be implemented successfully in cooperation with the mission crew.

Al Neyadi and the mission crew will be travelling to the International Space Station aboard the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. They will work on various scientific experiments and research projects during their time in space.

The UAE has been making significant investments in its space program in recent years. It hopes to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars by 2117 and has also announced plans to send an unmanned spacecraft to the moon by 2024. The success of the Crew-6 space mission will undoubtedly be a major milestone in the country’s efforts to advance its space program.