VIDEO: Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi takes historic strides in space
Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi made history when he stepped out of the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday for the first space walk by an Arab astronaut.
Neyadi, 41, dubbed the "Sultan of Space" by his alma mater, become the first Arab astronaut to embark on a six-month space mission when he blasted off for the ISS in early March aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that the UAE continues to make a meaningful contribution to space exploration with Neyadi’s spacewalk.
Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed said on Twitter, “With this week’s new discoveries by the Hope probe, the achievements of the Rashid Rover mission, and Sultan Al Neyadi’s first ever spacewalk by an Arab astronaut, the UAE continues to make a meaningful contribution to space exploration and advancements in science.”
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said Arabs are creative if we decide to focus on science and stay away from differences.
Sheikh Mohammed said, “After 3 years of intensive training, today we saw Sultan Al Neyadi on the first mission to walk in outer space, carrying out missions to install new parts and carry out maintenance on the International Space Station, the first Emirati, the first Arab, the first Muslim, to walk in outer space... proud of that.
They say that two-thirds of the stars in the sky bear Arabic names... Arabs are capable... Arabs are coming... Arabs are creative if we decide to focus on science... and invest in youth... and stay away from differences.”
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, said, “The UAE's space program has achieved a new historic milestone with Sultan Al Neyadi becoming the first Arab to perform a spacewalk. We extend our congratulations to the UAE's leadership, its people, and the entire region for this remarkable accomplishment. We take great pride in this achievement and celebrate this momentous occasion. We also wish @astro_alneyadi a safe and successful mission.”
Neyadi undertook "the first Arab spacewalk in history," wearing a space suit that bears the Emirati flag, said the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), calling it "a new historic milestone".
Footage live-streamed by Nasa showed the UAE astronaut exiting an ISS hatch.
"Sultan Al Neyadi has egressed the hatch, the first ever space walk by an Arab astronaut," Nasa said.
The space walk will last for around six hours and thirty minutes, according to MBRSC and Nasa.
Alongside NASA's Stephen Bowen, Al Neyadi "changed the Radio Frequency Group unit and prepare for the installation of solar panels.
Nasa said the two astronauts "routed power cables to prepare for future power system upgrades outside the" ISS.
Neyadi is the second man from the UAE to go to space, after Hazzaa Al Mansoori's eight-day mission in 2019.
He is the first Arab to embark on a long-duration space mission.
The UAE is a newcomer to the world of space exploration but quickly making its mark.
It sent an unmanned spacecraft to Mars in 2021, in the Arab world's first interplanetary mission, and last year a rover to the Moon.
Earlier this week, the UAE-developed Rashid Moon rover was lost when Japanese start-up ispace's Hakuto-R lunar lander apparently crashed on the Moon's surface, ispace said on Wednesday.
Sheikh Mohammed quickly directed the MBRSC to begin work on a second rover dubbed Rashid 2.