The second astronaut from the United Arab Emirates is still adjusting to life on the planet, after rocketing to the International Space Station last week
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida — The second astronaut from the United Arab Emirates is still adjusting to life on the planet, after rocketing to the International Space Station last week.
“I’m still facing. I’m still studying,” Sultan al-Neyadi said on Tuesday, but added that he hopes to improve in the coming days.
He is the second UAE astronaut to fly in space and the first from the Arab world to be assigned to a long spaceflight — others stay for about a week. He was there until September.
Al-Neyadi assured Dubai’s ruler in a video call on Tuesday that he and the rest of his crew were in good health. But he joked that the little plush astronaut toy he picked up might be able to handle microgravity better than him.
“I thank God that you reached the International Space Station and thank God for your safety,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who also serves as the country’s prime minister and vice president, said from the space center named after him. .
SpaceX launched al-Neyadi, a Russian cosmonaut and two NASA astronauts on their six-month mission on Thursday.
The first UAE astronaut, Hazzaa al-Mansoori participated in a short video chat on Tuesday from Dubai. Al-Neyadi’s astronaut toy, nicknamed Suhail, Arabic for the bright star Canopus, also accompanied al-Mansoori on his mission to the space station in 2019.
“Hopefully, people will follow in the footsteps of my brother Hazzaa and in my footsteps,” al-Neyadi said, the flags for the UAE and its space center hanging behind him. “This is what we hope for.”
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