Al Neyadi: The return journey was not easy. And the achievement belongs to every Emirati

Sultan Al Neyadi: I achieved my childhood dream. I long to return to space.

The Emirati astronaut, Sultan Al Neyadi, confirmed that he succeeded in achieving his childhood dream of reaching space to raise the flag and name of his homeland the UAE among the few countries that were able to do so, stressing that the return journey from the International Space Station was not easy at all, especially with regard to returning to gravity.

Al Neyadi said in a press conference held upon his arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport yesterday: "I stand here, on the land of our beloved homeland, filled with feelings of humility and pride in the presence and support of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and my family and the team of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre.

He added: "The success of this mission is in line with the spirit and thought of our nation, which proves once again that the impossible is possible, and therefore I am very grateful to our wise leadership who guided us with its guidance and absolute faith in every step we took, and therefore this historic achievement is not attributed to me alone, but is the property of every Emirati citizen, especially our young people who aspire to complete the march of success and excellence hand in hand, with determination and determination, our nation will continue to write a history of successes and achievements."

Al-Neyadi pointed out that his daily schedule throughout his six-month mission aboard the International Space Station was very busy, whether with research or experiments, although he was keen to communicate permanently with his compatriots to spread passion and awareness of the importance of space, especially among new generations, stressing that this communication was one of his most important responsibilities as an astronaut.

Al-Neyadi spoke about the spacewalk mission, which he carried out for a period of more than seven hours, saying: «Spacewalking was unusual, especially since there was no room for error, but thanks to the good training I got, I did not feel any fear, but I had great confidence in my success in completing the mission».

Al Neyadi also spoke about the UAE flag, which he gifted to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, saying: "I was keen to give this flag to His Highness the President of the UAE, because it is the flag that accompanied me throughout the mission, and it still carries the smell of space."

Al-Neyadi concluded his speech by noting that he has completed a large percentage of his rehabilitation phase, which lasts six months, noting that despite his return to Earth, he is still in contact with his colleagues on the International Space Station, which he longs to return to, and stressed that his keenness to share some pictures of Arab capitals from space during his mission was one of his goals, and was among the things he loved his heart.