Dr Al Neyadi completed the longest Arab space mission as part of Expedition 69 last year, spanning six months on the International Space Station Image Credit: X/@MBRSpaceCentre

Dubai: Emirati astronaut-turned-minister Dr Sultan Al Neyadi has been honoured by US space agency NASA for his exemplary service and contributions to space exploration at an event in Houston, USA, to mark the conclusion of the Expedition 69 mission.

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Dr Al Neyadi, who conducted the longest Arab space mission as part of Expedition 69 last year, received the Distinguished Public Service Medal and the Space Exploration Medal during the Expedition 69 Crew Debrief and Welcome Home Ceremony held at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre.

Team MBRSC (Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai) was also honoured with awards by NASA.

During the event, the MBRSC delegation, led by Salem Humaid Al Marri, director-General, MBRSC, celebrated the successful completion of the Expedition 69 mission and the strong ties between MBRSC and NASA.

MBRSC awardees

Dr Hanan Al Suwaidi, MBRSC’s flight surgeon, was honoured with the Johnson Space Centre Superior Achievement Award, highlighting her significant contributions to the health and safety of the crew during Expedition 69 and Crew-6.

Adnan Al Rais, assistant directorgeneral, Space Operations and Exploration Sector, MBRSC, and Mohammad Al Bulooshi, manager of the Space Operations Section, received the Group Achievement Award on behalf of MBRSC, in recognition of the centre’s role in the success of Expedition 69 and its contribution to advancing human space exploration.

The event also saw the participation of astronauts Hazzaa Al Mansoori, Astronauts Office manager, MBRSC; Nora Al Matrooshi, and Mohammad Al Mulla.

Official conclusion

In a time-honoured tradition that marks the end of an astronaut’s journey, NASA astronaut Jessica Meir rang the bell at the Johnson Space Centre, signalling the official conclusion of their mission.

The ceremony also featured storytelling sessions by the crew, sharing insights and experiences from their mission with theattendees with tales of discovery and collaboration.

The UAE Astronaut Programme is one of the projects managed by MBRSC under the UAE’s National Space Programme and funded by the ICT Fund of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), which aims to support research and development in the ICT sector in the UAE and promote the country’s integration on the global stage.