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Out Of This World

A close up glimpse of Sultan Al Neyadi’s on board the International Space Centre.

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About the Author

H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Neyadi is the UAE Minister of Youth, astronaut and the first Arab to serve on the International Space Station (ISS) for a 6-month mission, as part of Expedition 69.

Al Neyadi was inducted into the UAE Cabinet during an announcement made by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai in January 2024. He was one of the two astronauts selected in the first batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed forces, in 2017.

Al Neyadi undertook the longest Arab space mission in history and became the first Arab to conduct a spacewalk during Expedition 69, which lasted 7 hours and 1 minute. During his time of over 4,000 hours aboard the ISS, he spearheaded multiple research experiments and studies in collaboration with NASA, European Space Agency (ESA), Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) on a wide range of topics.

Prior to his mission, Al Neyadi trained at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Moscow, NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, and the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne. The training spanned five years, included over 90 courses, and covered a wide range of emergency procedures, everyday ISS operations, training in the Neutral Buoynacy Laboratory, flight training and survival skills.

Born on May 23, 1981, Al Neyadi followed his father’s footsteps into military service. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from the University of Brighton, he served in the UAE Armed Forces as a Network Security Engineer. Al Neyadi later pursued further education, earning a Master’s degree in IT from Griffith University and a Ph.D. in Information Technology. A jiu-jitsu practitioner, Al Neyadi integrated his martial arts discipline into his space mission, becoming the first person to wear a jiu-jitsu gi on the ISS.

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