Noticed that over the last day, your phone’s network info has switched to say ‘Spacewalk’? That’s because UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi is currently performing a historic feat – the Arab world’s first-ever spacewalk. The Emirati astronaut will be conducting the spacewalk on the International Space Station (ISS) today, April 28.
The Al Ain native nicknamed the ‘Sultan of Space’ emerged from the ISS space station at around 5:41pm UAE time today, floating out bearing the UAE flag on his space suit. This marks the UAE flag’s first appearance in outer space.
Al Neyadi and NASA astronaut Stephen Bowen will be doing the spacewalk together to conduct integral maintenance on the International Space Station’s power generation system. This momentous event is currently being live-streamed by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre (MBRSC), the agency behind the UAE Astronaut Programme in Dubai, from 4.30pm UAE time at www.mbrsc.ae/live
Spacewalks are exceptionally complex and one of the riskiest tasks an astronaut can undertake, which is why only a few hundred of them have been performed in the world. In fact, today’s spacewalk makes the UAE the 10th country in the world to carry out a spacewalk. Friday, April 28 is one that will go down in history as a proud moment for the UAE.
Spacewalks are arduous time-intensive procedures that take hours to complete. Today’s spacewalk is expected to last for a duration of 6.5 hours. So, you can catch this record-breaking moment in UAE’s space travel history. You can identify Al Neyadi by his unmarked white spacesuit, while Bowen’s suit has red stripes.