|Sultan Saif Muftah Hamad Al Neyadi
|Sultan AlNeyadi, Sultan Al-Neyadi
|UAE Armed Forces personnel, Astronaut
|• Being the second astronaut from UAE to go to space
• Being the first astronaut from UAE to engage in a long-term mission aboard ISS
• Being the first astronaut from UAE to do spacewalking
|Physical Stats & More
|in centimeters- 175 cm
in meters- 1.75 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 9”
|in kilograms- 65 kg
in pounds- 143 lbs
|Affiliated Space Agency
|The United Arab Emirates Space Agency (UAESA)
|September 2018 - present
|Missions with designation
|Mission Specialist 1 at the International Space Station (3 March 2023 - 1 September 2023)
|Date of Birth
|23 May 1981 (Saturday)
|Age (as of 2023)
|Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
|Al Ain, Abu Dhabi
|• Um Ghafa Primary Boys School, UAE
• Um Ghafa Secondary School, UAE
|• University of Brighton, UK
• Zayed II Military College
• Griffith University, Australia
|• BSc (hons.) Electronics and Communications Engineering from the University of Brighton (2004)
• Masters degree in Information and Network Security from the Griffith University
• PhD in Information Technology (Data Leakage Prevention) from the Griffith University Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center
|Relationships & More
|He has six children.
|Father- Saif Al Neyadi (served in the UAE Armed Forces)
Mother- Name not known
|The Adventures of Tintin
Some Lesser Known Facts About Sultan Al Neyadi
- Sultan Al Neyadi is an Emirati astronaut and United Arab Emirates armed forces member. He is the second astronaut from the UAE to journey to space and the first astronaut from the nation to participate in a six-month-long mission on the International Space Station (ISS) and carry out a spacewalk.
- He hails from a Muslim family in the UAE.
- After completing his graduation in the UK, he returned to the UAE, where he enrolled in the armed forces and served as a network security and communications engineer.
- While doing his PhD in Australia. he wrote six research papers.
- In 2017, the UAE government launched a program aimed at establishing its first Astronaut Corps for which it received over 4000 applications.
- In September 2018, Dubai’s ruler, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced Sultan Al Neyadi and Major Al Mansouri’s selection for astronaut training at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai.
- In 2019, Mansouri and Neyadi were sent to Russia following the conclusion of their astronaut training in the UAE. During their year-long stay, they received astronaut training at Moscow’s Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Star City.
- In the same year, the UAE administration announced the selection of Major Al Mansouri as the first Emirati astronaut to go to the ISS. Neyadi was kept as Mansouri’s backup in case Mansouri was unable to go to the ISS due to unforeseen circumstances.
- In January 2020, the Bengaluru-based Human Spaceflight Programme appointed him as a member of its astronaut panel.
- In 2020, they were sent to Houston, Texas, after the completion of their training in Russia. There, they underwent an extra six months of training based on the 2018 Implementing Arrangement (IA) signed between the UAE and NASA. As part of their training, they were taught to operate equipment, manage low-pressure and ammonia leaks, and tackle fires aboard the International Space Station (ISS). They were also trained in enduring harsh cold weather and how to prepare food in space. Furthermore, they received instructions on operating cameras for documenting events and capturing Earth’s visuals from space. They were also taught how to effectively communicate with ground stations to pass messages efficiently. Overall, their training consisted of more than 90 courses, i.e., a total of over 1,400 hours of instruction.
- Later, Al Neyadi and Al Mansouri received training at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) in Houston, Texas. Their training focused on adjusting to the weightlessness experienced in space travel, becoming proficient in operating an Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), learning methods of maintaining the ISS, participating in drills for Incapacitated Crew Rescue (ICR), and engaging in theoretical and hands-on training, including sessions with a T-38 jet.
- After undergoing rigorous training for 20 months, the pair was awarded the NASA astronaut’s emblem, which meant that the duo were well trained and well qualified for space missions.
- Subsequently, they travelled to Canada, where they received instructions regarding the operation of the ISS’ robotic arm, a crucial component for collecting cargo dispatched from Earth.
- In 2021, he received an invitation to attend the International Astronautical Congress.
- Neyadi was selected by the UAE government on 25 July 2022 to join Expedition 69 as Mission Specialist 1 on the International Space Station through NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission. This marked the UAE’s inaugural extended space mission. Talking about his selections, following his selection, Neyadi said,
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Your Highness. My selection as the first Arab astronaut for a long-duration mission is a great honour and responsibility that I accept with a strong desire to raise the UAE flag high in space once more.”
- On 2 March 2023, he boarded SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center in the United States. By around 6:40 a.m. UTC on 3 March 2023, he arrived at the International Space Station (ISS).
- Neyadi and his team were actively involved in over 250 experiments at the ISS. Among these, Neyadi himself participated in over 20 experiments. Reportedly, he willingly asked to become a subject of numerous onboard ISS experiments. While giving an interview, he said,
We are subjects ourselves. We’ll have a lot of sensors on us when we do experiments. These machines log our sleep, our vascular activities, breathing and so on. There is radiation in space and loosening of muscles. How do we control (or mitigate) these things are also part of our medical experiments.”
- He played an active role in research endeavours aiding NASA’s readiness for lunar and deep space exploration missions. His group also conducted experiments on fluid dynamics in space and studied the behaviour of materials as they burn and respond to different atmospheric conditions in microgravity. Additionally, he researched the rhythmic movement of heart tissue in space and advanced cutting-edge techniques for 3D-printing human organs.
- In April 2023, he became the UAE’s first astronaut to perform a spacewalk. The event lasted around seven hours and occurred on the starboard side of the International Space Station.
- Sultan Al Neyadi maintains a strong presence on social media platforms. He consistently posted updates about activities on the International Space Station (ISS), ensuring that his followers stay updated on space-related happenings. Furthermore, he shared pictures of different countries as seen from space to convey his good wishes on different occasions.
شام بخیر #پاکستان
Happy Independence Day to all Pakistanis, especially those living in the UAE. As one of the largest expat communities in my country, we have lived together for years and learned a lot about your rich culture. Here's your capital, Islamabad, from space. pic.twitter.com/xf4XaSEHOv
— Sultan AlNeyadi (@Astro_Alneyadi) August 14, 2023
- In September 2023, he made his way back to Earth after his time aboard the ISS.
- He is trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has participated in various martial arts tournaments within the UAE. His achievements include securing a medal during the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour 2017-2018. Additionally, Neyadi showcased his martial arts skills while aboard the ISS by regularly sharing images and videos of his jiu-jitsu training through social media.
- Sultan Al Neyadi frequently shared videos and images of his workout sessions during his time on the ISS.