Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Vice-President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has announced that Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi has become the first Arab to execute a spacewalk on the International Space Station.
“After three years of intensive training, today marked a historic moment as Sultan Al Neyadi embarked on his first spacewalk,” stated Sheikh Mohammed.
“During this mission, he installed new components and performed maintenance on the International Space Station, becoming the first Emirati, Arab, and Muslim astronaut to walk in outer space,” he continued.
NASA certified the success of Al Neyadi’s and NASA astronaut Steve Bowen’s approximately 7-hour trip.
“Bowen and Al Neyadi laid cables and installed insulation on mounting brackets on the station’s starboard truss for the installation of the next pair of International Space Station Roll Out Solar Arrays (iROSAs),” according to NASA.
“It was the 261st spacewalk in support of space station assembly, upgrades, and maintenance, the eighth for Bowen, and the first for any UAE astronaut,” the statement continued.
In 2017, the UAE established its astronaut programme to train and prepare a team of Emiratis for various research missions in space.