UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi welcomed home in grand celebration

After successful space mission
UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi welcomed home in grand celebration
UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid lead the nation in celebrating Sultan Al Neyadi’s homecoming (Image Credit: WAM)

Sultan Al Neyadi, the UAE astronaut, received a warm and celebratory welcome in Abu Dhabi after successfully completing a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station. The President of the UAE, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, greeted Sultan Al Neyadi at Abu Dhabi’s new airport terminal.

Expressing his pride, Sheikh Mohamed Al Nahyan posted on social media, “I was honoured to join my brother Mohammed bin Rashid to celebrate the homecoming of our astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi. The people of the UAE are united in pride for his remarkable achievement, which has further advanced our nation’s space exploration ambitions.”

Read more: UAE space exploration soars to new heights: Mars and beyond

Emirati flag

During the reception, Sultan Al Neyadi presented an Emirati flag that had been taken to space to Sheikh Mohamed, who unfurled it for television cameras. Dr. Al Neyadi stated, “I am thrilled to share the exciting news that our national flag has made its way to space for the second time, but this time, it ventured beyond the confines of the space station. This is merely the inception of our journey, and with the grace of God, we aspire to achieve further milestones in space exploration. I have a vision that this mission will be followed by the placement of the flag I hold in my hands today on both the Moon and Mars.”

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid emphasized that Dr. Al Neyadi’s success represents a significant milestone for the UAE. He wrote on social media, “We will continue, God willing, to send more astronauts from our young men and women, and we will continue to launch more scientific, research, and exploratory projects in space and on Earth. We will continue, God willing, to invest in humanity.”

Grand reception

Additionally, the grand reception for Dr. Al Neyadi included Emirati pupils dressed in astronaut flight suits, and giant screens displayed portraits of the astronaut and messages of his homecoming. His father and several of his six children warmly greeted him as he disembarked the aircraft.

Dr. Al Neyadi, born in Al Ain, made history during his ISS mission as the first Arab astronaut to perform a spacewalk. He returned to Earth on September 4. Speaking after the reception, he expressed his happiness at the warm welcome he received, saying, “Today, being received by the leadership and my parents signified the importance of space. They believed in us. It was a great reception.”

Furthermore, reflecting on his journey, he described the awe-inspiring scenes he witnessed from the Dragon capsule’s window, including the breathtaking view of the Milky Way. He shared, “It was a special experience to see my dream turning into reality.”

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