VIDEO: Sultan of Space Neyadi returns to earth from International Space Station - GulfToday

VIDEO: Sultan of Space Neyadi returns to earth from International Space Station


Sultan Al Neyadi gestures as he is helped out of a SpaceX capsule onboard a recovery ship on Monday. AP

Syed Shayaan Bakht, Staff Reporter

Four astronauts returned to Earth early on Monday after a six-month stay at the International Space Station.

Their SpaceX capsule parachuted into the Atlantic off the Florida coast.

Returning were NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren "Woody” Hoburg, Russia's Andrei Fedyaev and the United Arab Emirates' Sultan Al-Neyadi, the first person from the Arab world to spend an extended time in orbit.

Before departing the space station, they said they were craving hot showers, steaming cups of coffee and the ocean air since arriving in March. Their homecoming was delayed a day because of poor weather at the splashdown locations.

Engineer Salem Al Marri, Director General of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, explained to Gulf Today that rehabilitating Sultan Al Neyadi for normal life, such as walking and balance in a gravity environment, takes about 45 days.

Also, the role assigned to the center immediately after landing with its fellow Crew 6 crew is to have 3 aspects in cooperation with NASA, which are the medical side crews, rehabilitation, and completing scientific experiments.

He said during a digital conference, organized by the center, on Sunday, after the spacecraft separated from the international station: There is a team of unknown soldiers, to provide support to Al Neyadi during his mission, including the scientific team consisting of between 50 and 60 people, most of whose focus is on the scientific experiments conducted by Al Neyadi, and the administrative team related to his work in managing contracts with NASA and the Space mission.

He added that medical rehabilitation awaits Al-Neyadi upon his return, for a period of two to three weeks, and then he will return to the homeland at the end of this month, where a full reception is being organized for him, and he will rest, before returning to the United States, to complete scientific experiments, and ensure the completion of the mission’s operations.

Successfully, by the end of 2023, he will then return home and begin a tour of schools, universities, and companies, to inform them of the historic mission he accomplished at the station, and he will also have an intense schedule to spread the benefit of his experience.

He stated that the results of scientific experiments conducted by UAE universities would be available by the end of this year, while the results of experiments conducted in cooperation with NASA will proceed according to a specific timetable.

In his response to Gulf Today, Engineer Adnan Al-Rais, Assistant Director General for Space Operations and Exploration, Director of the “Ambition Zayed 2” mission, said: The landing time of the “Dragon” spacecraft carrying Al-Neyadi and the “Crew 6” crew on board will be at 8:17am Monday, UAE time, off the coast of Florida, as the return trip takes 17:17 hours from the moment of separation from the space station to reach Earth.

There are 7 targeted landing sites, primary and backup, in the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.

He added that 45 minutes before landing, the vehicle will use the main propulsion system for 16 minutes, in order to enter the orbit of the Earth’s atmosphere, with initial parachutes opening 5 minutes before landing, then 4 main parachutes for the landing to take place off the coast of Florida.

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