Life Earthside isn’t any less exciting…

When you’re one of the first two Emirati astronauts ever to have entered space for the first time, complete the longest Arab space mission as part of the SpaceX Crew-6, successfully complete the first Arab spacewalk, conduct over 200 scientific experiments and engage in over 1,000 hours of space operations, Earthly activities may pale in comparison for Dr. Sultan Al Neyadi.

Such was the dilemma of the spaceman and astronaut extraordinaire who jetted off into outer space not very long ago. But since coming back, he’s been up to some very cool, very exciting things including getting degrees and taking on new positions. Here’s all the highlights…

Celebrating one year of space traversing

On March 3, 2024, Al Neyadi marked a whole year since he travelled into outer space for his historic mission. He went in as a communications engineer on one of NASA’s most recent crew rotation flights and spent a record 186 days out there, before returning home on September 4, 2023.

Being appointed Minister of State for Youth Affairs

Al Neyadi was appointed as a minister in the UAE government in a cabinet reshuffle announced by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to now serve as the UAE’s Minister of State for Youth Affairs. The appointment was announced on January 6 and while it’s a huge role to take on, Al Neyadi will be continuing on with his scientific and space-y endeavours.

Becoming a doctor (again)

To no one’s surprise, Al Neyadi already has a PhD in information technology, which he received in 2012, and has even published six research papers in peer-reviewed journals. I mean, he went to space, and did a lot of super interesting and complex science-y stuff that we won’t pretend to understand. This month, he received another honorary doctorate from Middlesex University Dubai, in honour of his contributions to the UAE’s space race.

Breaking a sweat with his crew

Last year’s Dubai Fitness Challenge saw some very special participants joining the herd – Al Neyadi and his space crew. One of the main activities of the annual 30×30 fitness challenge is the Dubai Run and last year, the runners were joined by Al Neyadi and Hazzaa AlMansoori along with 69 of the crew members who were part of the historic mission aboard the International Space Station. 

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Receiving a coveted medal

Al Neyadi received the Distinguished Public Service Medal and Space Exploration Medal from NASA for his space research and exploration work in January of this year. This is just one of the many recognitions he has received since completing his mission and absolutely well-deserving, at that.


Images: Socials