Sharjah: His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, received on Thursday Emirati astronauts Sultan Al Neyadi, Hazza Al Mansouri, and the team from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah at the Sharjah Academy for Astronomy, Space Sciences, and Technology (SAASST).
Dr. Sheikh Sultan commended the remarkable achievements of the longest Arab space mission and praised the dedication of astronauts Al Neyadi and Al Mansouri for their instrumental roles in bolstering the UAE's position as a space exploration leader.
He celebrated their commitment and the MBRSC team's excellence throughout the mission, reflecting the UAE's dedication to global excellence and the resilience of its people.
Dr. Sheikh Sultan was briefed on the historic longest Arab space mission's outcomes by Al Neyadi, who spent six months onboard the International Space Station (ISS), conducting pivotal scientific research and experiments as well as the first Arab spacewalk.
Al Mansouri, who was the first Arab increment lead for Expedition 69, also briefed His Highness about his role during the mission, which included supporting Al Neyadi and his fellow crew members in coordinating experiments, daily tasks and other activities on the ISS from the Mission Control Center in Houston.
Expressing gratitude, Al Neyadi presented the UAE flag, which accompanied him on his ISS mission, to Dr. Sheikh Sultan, as a token of his unwavering support and interest in space science and education.
The MBRSC team, led by Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, Chairman, MBRSC, Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, Vice Chairman, MBRSC and Salem Humaid Al Marri, Director General, MBRSC, along with mission team members, expressed their profound gratitude towards Dr. Sheikh Sultan, acknowledging his unwavering support. The team also discussed the UAE Astronaut Programme and shed light on its future missions.
Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, Chairman, MBRSC said: “The support and vision of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi have been instrumental in realising the dreams of numerous Emirati endeavours.
“Our meeting with His Highness is a testament to our nation's dedication to exploring new frontiers in space. With strategic planning and keeping pace with the evolving space sector, we are committed to nurturing our national talent and shaping the future of space exploration. Inspired by the legacy of our nation's founders, we are energised to achieve new heights in space science and exploration."
Salem Humaid Al Marri, Director General, MBRSC said: “We extend our deepest gratitude to His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi for his visionary leadership and direction as we navigate the future course of the UAE's space sector.
“The successful mission led by Sultan marks a significant milestone in MBRSC's history, setting the stage for a series of ambitious space missions. Looking forward to our goals, we are dedicated to constantly pushing the boundaries of innovation, exploration, and discovery in space.”