UAE’s Sultan Al Neyadi makes history as first Arab astronaut to walk in space

Sultan Al Neyadi and NASA astronaut Steve Bowen concluded their 7-hour-long spacewalk at 1.42 AM IST on Saturday, April 29, according to NASA.

During their spacewalk outside the International Space Station (ISS), Bowen and Al Neyadi layed cables and insulation on the “starboard truss” of the station. This was for the installation of the next pair of ISS Roll Out Solar Arrays, or iROSAs. Four iROSAs have been installed on the space station so far and two more will be mounted on the platforms installed by Al Neyadi and Bowen.

Apart from this, the astronauts were also able to free up an electronics box that had a communications antenna. The antenna itself will be removed during a future spacewalk before it is returned to Earth.

“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,” Al Neyadi had tweeted on April 6 after being chosen to go on the spacewalk.

But, Al Neyadi is neither the first Arab nor Emirati astronaut to go to space. That honour would go to Hazza Al Mansoori, who lived on the space station for eight days in 2019. But Al Neyadi is the first Arab and Emirati astronaut on a long-term mission to ISS. He is expected to be on board the space station till September 2023.


  • Adam Gray

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