Sultan Al Neyadi creates history and becomes the first Arab astronaut to complete a spacewalk at the International Space Station (ISS). He completed the 7-hour long spacewalk along with NASA astronaut Steve Bowen on April 29, 2023.
Sultan Al Neyadi of United Arab Emirates (UAE) creates history by being the first ever Arab astronaut to complete a spacewalk on the International Space Station (ISS). He completed the spacewalk during Expedition 69 on Saturday April 29, 2023.
Al Neyadi is also the first Arab to ever go on a long space mission. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) stated that Sultan Al Neyadi and NASA astronaut Steve Bowen concluded their seven hour spacewalk on Saturday. This accomplishment is a great achievement for the Arab world’s participation in space missions.
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The spacewalk focused on attaining two major objectives
Al Neyadi’s seven hour long spacewalk was a great achievement for the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC).
Sultan Al Neyadi and Steve Bowen completed the spacewalk on Saturday. The seven hour long spacewalk happened across the starboard section of the International Space Station’s Truss structure. The Extravehicular Activity (EVA) focused on achieving two objectives.
Sultan Al-Neyadi along with NASA Flight Engineer Steve Bowen took the objective of working on a series of tasks including routing power cables and insulation on the truss structure of ISS.
The cables and insulation were required for the installation of International Space Station’s fourth roll-out solar array, officially known as the International Space Station Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA).
The space station has four installed iROSA till now and two more will be installed on the platforms set up by Sultan Al Neyadi and Steve Bowen. The next iROSA is expected to be delivered on the International Space Station by the next SpaceX Dragon mission.
The second objective for Sultan AL Neyadi and Steve Bowen was to retrieve a Radio Frequency Group (RFG) unit. The two astronauts were unable to remove the RFG unit in question successfully. The RFG will stay at its place for now due the difficulty faced while removing it.
Who is Sultan Al Neyadi?
Sultan Al Neyadi was one of the two original candidates selected to become the first astronauts from UAE. The second was Hazza Al Mansoori who was actually the first Arab to go to space. Hazza Al Mansoori lived in space for 8 days back in 2019. Al Neyadi went through his training to become an astronaut at Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) under their UAE Astronaut Programme.
When Al Neyadi was selected on April 6 as one of the two astronauts to conduct the spacewalk activities on April 29, 2023, he tweeted, “Being chosen as the first Arab astronaut to undertake a spacewalk is a great honour and responsibility. I am looking forward to represent my country and continue the exceptional journey started by generations of astronauts before me.”
UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan also expressed his immense pleasure about Sultan Al Neyadi becoming the first Arab man to complete a spacewalk. He also expressed his desire for UAE to continue to contribute to space exploration programs.
On April 29,2023, Sultan Al Neyadi became the first Arab astronaut to go on a long term space mission and to complete a spacewalk around the International Space Station (ISS). He is expected to stay aboard on the ISS till September 2023.