In September 2023, UAE astronaut Dr. Sultan Al Neyadi returned to Earth from the International Space Station (ISS) as part of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 Mission. He spent six months onboard the orbiting ISS science laboratory, marking the Arab world’s first long-duration space mission and the UAE’s second mission to the ISS. In 2019, astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri became the first Emirati to ever travel to space.
In preparation for his mission to the ISS, Dr. Al Neyadi received training alongside NASA astronauts at facilities across the US, including NASA’s Johnson Space Centre and SpaceX HQ. With a two-year basic astronaut training program under his belt, Al Neyadi is qualified to go on additional NASA-led missions. Additional Emirati candidates, Mohammed Al Mulla and Nora Al Matrooshi, have begun their training alongside aspiring American astronauts. Chosen from over 4,000 applicants, Nora Al Matrooshi is the Arab world's first female astronaut.
“Hope” or “Al Amal” in Arabic – represents the culmination of an innovative knowledge transfer and development program between the UAE and international partners. Emirati engineers worked closely with scientists at US educational institutions such as University of Colorado Boulder, University of California, Berkeley and Arizona State University.