JACKSONVILLE, Florida: UAE astronaut Sultan Al-Neyadi and his fellow crewmembers successfully returned to Earth on Monday following a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station. The Crew6 team, traveling aboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule, safely splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean near Jacksonville, Florida, concluding their 17-hour journey in space.
SpaceX crews promptly retrieved the capsule, and the astronauts were safely taken out one by one. They are expected to be transported to NASA’s facility in Florida, where their families eagerly await their arrival. In Florida, the crewmembers will undergo medical examinations before heading to their respective homes. After spending 184 days on the ISS, Neyadi departed from the space station as scheduled at 3:05 pm UAE time on Sunday.
The live coverage of his departure included a poignant moment when the astronaut, who made history as the first Arab to conduct a spacewalk during his mission, bid a final farewell while in space. On his last day aboard the ISS, Neyadi said goodbye to his fellow crewmembers before the capsule’s hatch was sealed and it undocked.
When he returns to the UAE, after undergoing medical assessments in the US, he is expected to receive a hero’s welcome. Electronic billboards across the UAE have been displaying a countdown to Neyadi’s homecoming, with messages like “Safe Journey, Sultan”. – Agencies