The United Arab Emirates’ astronaut Sultan al-Neyadi has shared a stunning night-time view of Dubai from space – capturing some of the emirate’s most famous landmarks.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, shared the photo on his Twitter account, describing it as “an awe-inspiring photograph of Dubai taken by Emirati astronaut Sultan al-Neyadi.”
An awe-inspiring photograph of Dubai taken by Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi from the @Space_Station paints a picture of the nation's extraordinary achievements both on Earth and beyond. pic.twitter.com/sqlC3r7QmN
— Hamdan bin Mohammed (@HamdanMohammed) May 3, 2023
Last week al-Neyadi – who is currently on a six-month mission onboard the International Space Station (ISS) – made history by becoming the first Arab to perform a spacewalk.
Al-Neyadi trained for more than 55 hours at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas in preparation for spacewalks.
This image I captured of the Eye of the Sahara 🇲🇷 from the ISS reveals itself as a geological wonder 🌍. Also known as The Richat Structure, it serves as a reminder of our planet's incredible beauty and the mysteries that still await our exploration. pic.twitter.com/6JvGEbUZL1
— Sultan AlNeyadi (@Astro_Alneyadi) May 4, 2023
He blasted into space on March 2 from the United States’ NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida as part of a six-month mission which will carry out experiments ranging from human cell growth in space to controlling combustible materials in microgravity.
Al-Neyadi, 41, is only the second person from his country to fly to space and the first to launch from US soil as part of a long-duration space station team.
He follows in the footsteps of other Arab astronauts including Emirati Hazzaa al-Mansouri who became the first Arab on the ISS in 2019, and Saudi Arabia’s Prince Sultan bin Salman who became the first Arab to travel to space in 1985.
Discipline, focus, & adaptability I gained from #JiuJitsu have been invaluable to me on the ISS. Even in microgravity, the moves & postures I learned on Earth serve me well up here.
Oss! 🥋 What Jiu-Jitsu moves would you be interested in doing in space?#UAEJJF #FromMatsToStars pic.twitter.com/hQ0ZoHu7Oy
— Sultan AlNeyadi (@Astro_Alneyadi) May 4, 2023
UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi has completed two months in space and during that time has performed an historic spacewalk, carried out scientific investigations and captured stunning images of Earth.
Dr Al Neyadi arrived at the International Space Station on March 3 for a six-month stay – the Arab world’s first long-duration mission.
His latest images taken from the orbiting laboratory show remarkable views of the Sahara desert.
“This image I captured of the Eye of the Sahara from the ISS reveals itself as a geological wonder,” he tweeted.
حتى من خارج الكوكب .. دبي كوكبٌ آخر 🤍✨
Dubai shines almost as bright as the stars up here. #MyDubai 🤍✨ pic.twitter.com/cWe74Ku5DM
— Sultan AlNeyadi (@Astro_Alneyadi) May 3, 2023
“Also known as the Richat Structure, it serves as a reminder of our planet’s incredible beauty and the mysteries that still await our exploration.”
The geological structure on the Adrar Plateau in the Sahara in northwest Africa, is popular with astronauts to photograph because of its unique dome shape, which is visible from space.
It is made up of eroded sedimentary and volcanic rock.
But this is not the first time Dr Al Neyadi photographed the Sahara desert.
On March 30, he photographed a huge sandstorm sweeping across the desert.
“From so far away, I am constantly reminded of the beauty of our planet,” he said.
From space we see our beautiful Earth and the interconnectedness of water bodies, mountains, forests, deserts and more. These views remind us of our collective duty to protect our home. It is up to each and every one of us to take positive climate action. Everyday is #EarthDay 🌍 pic.twitter.com/YJZjXgHPBb
— Sultan AlNeyadi (@Astro_Alneyadi) April 22, 2023
“One of my favourite activities on the ISS is getting behind the lens for Earth observation, capturing breathtaking sights that can only be witnessed from space.
“I’m delighted to share this recent image I clicked of a sandstorm, sweeping across the enchanting Sahara desert.”
Astronauts are required to learn how to use professional cameras for their missions on the orbiting outpost.
They take on several roles in space, including photographer, plumber, carrying out experiments for scientists on the ground, technician, and performing spacewalks to do maintenance work on the exterior of the structure.
Greetings to everyone in Al Ain 💜
My cherished recollections of Umm Ghafa, its inviting streets, and its warm-hearted people remain etched in my memory forever. pic.twitter.com/K5TeeY87CX
— Sultan AlNeyadi (@Astro_Alneyadi) April 12, 2023
Dr Al Neyadi has been assigned more than 200 experiments by Nasa and universities in the UAE.
Other images sent back by Dr Al Neyadi include views of his hometown, Umm Ghafa in Al Ain.
“Greetings to everyone in Al Ain,” he said on April 12.
“My cherished recollections of Umm Ghafa, its inviting streets and its warm-hearted people remain etched in my memory for ever.”
قبل شهر، انطلقنا من هنا، من قاعدة كيب كانافرال في فلوريدا إلى الفضاء. في هذا الشهر، شهدنا أكثر من 450 شروقًا وغروبًا وقطعنا شوطًا كبيرًا من التجارب والأبحاث لمهمتنا برفقة الزملاء لتحقيق أهداف المهمة العلمية. من الأرض إلى الفضاء، مستمرون في مسيرتنا نحو طموح زايد. pic.twitter.com/MwntOZixzI
— Sultan AlNeyadi (@Astro_Alneyadi) April 2, 2023
He has also given his fans an insight into his life and work on the space station, including videos and images of how he exercises, sleeps, eats, makes coffee and drinks water.
He performed the first spacewalk by an Arab astronaut on April 28, when he ventured outside the ISS for a six-and-a-half-hour maintenance assignment.
“After completing my first spacewalk, I am humbled by the experience,” he said on Tuesday.
On Saturday, he will take a brief trip with three of his colleagues on the Dragon spacecraft in which they arrived at the ISS.
Nasa astronaut Stephen Bowen will be redocking the capsule in another port on the station. This will help to free up a parking spot for a cargo spacecraft that will arrive later later.
Two Saudi astronauts were meant to be joining Dr Al Neyadi on May 9, but their trip was delayed.
Rayyanah Barnawi – the first Saudi woman astronaut – and Ali Al Qarni are part of Axiom Space’s second private mission, called Ax-2, to the International Space Station.
Houston-based Axiom Space, Nasa and SpaceX are trying to find a new launch date for later this year.
The postponement was probably because the flight schedule to the ISS was disrupted after a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launch was delayed last month.
The enormous rocket uses the same launchpad that Nasa and SpaceX use to launch crews from and it takes time to get the pad ready again.
With a few other launches, including a cargo mission, already scheduled, ISS managers need additional time to finalise a date for the Ax-2 mission.