DUBAI: Emirati astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi returned home to the UAE on Monday afternoon. AlNeyadi, the first Arab astronaut deployed on a long-term space mission and the first to complete a spacewalk, was finally back on Emirati soil after spending six months aboard the International Space Station.
On arrival at Abu Dhabi airport, the astronaut was welcomed home by UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, vice president and ruler of Dubai.
After returning from space on Sept. 4, AlNeyadi spent time in Florida and Texas recovering and underwent medical testing, evaluation, and mission debriefs.
The Emirati astronaut, together with NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, lifted off on March 2 in NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The astronaut took to X (formerly Twitter) to express his excitement in returning home. “After returning to Earth, it is now time to return home.. Our appointment is tomorrow.. I will see you well at Dar Zayed,” he said.
منذ بداية التحضيرات التي استمرت 5 سنوات إلى العيش أكثر من 180 يومًا في الفضاء كانت هذه المهمة من أجمل التجارب التي مرت في حياتي..
بعد الرجوع إلى الأرض، حان الآن موعد العودة إلى الوطن.. موعدنا غدًا.. أشوفكم على خير في دار زايد pic.twitter.com/k2zhwPyZFb
— Sultan AlNeyadi (@Astro_Alneyadi) September 17, 2023
Ahead of his return to the emirates, AlNeyadi shared a message with his X followers.
“From the start of the five-year preparations for the mission to spending over 180 days in space, this has been the experience of a lifetime, after returning to Earth, it's time to come home. I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow in our beloved UAE,” he said on Sunday.