We noticed the change on the afternoon of August 29…

Notice that your phone network name changed to ‘Bck2earth’ this afternoon? If you’re wondering why, in short, it’s to celebrate the return of UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi back to planet Earth.

UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi was set to return back to Earth this week on Friday, September 1, but the date has been pushed by a day and he will now be arriving on Saturday, September 2.

The UAE astronaut has spent the last six months on board the International Space Station (ISS) where he performed over 200 activities. He joined other astronauts and together were called Crew-6.

Crew-6 will depart the ISS on Saturday, September 2 after which it is a 24-hour journey back to Earth onboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule. They will land off the coast of Florida. When he returns, a number of celebrations will take place in the UAE (naturally) before he returns to the US for final mission debriefings. He then will return to the UAE where he will no doubt, be discussing his experiences across a number of events.

This isn’t the first time our phone’s network name has changed for UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi.


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A post shared by Sultan Al Neyadi (@astro_alneyadi)

Back in April 2023, our phones changed to Spacewalk to mark a significant event led by Al Neyadi. On April 28, 2023, the astronaut performed a spacewalk on the International Space Station. By performing this ‘stunt’, Al Neyadi’s name went down in the history books as he became the first Arab astronaut to perform the feat.

In even bigger news, spacewalks aren’t done very often and the UAE will be the 10th country in the world to do it – another proud moment for this blossoming country.

We can’t wait to welcome you back, Sultan Al Neyadi!

Images: MBR Space Centre