THE inspiring return of United Arab Emirates (UAE) astronaut Sultan Al-Neyadi and his crewmates to Earth after a six-month historic mission to space created a moment of national pride and ignited a wave of global celebrations.
At its height of success, the UAE wants to push the boundaries of scientific discovery by exploring the red planet.
The 42-year-old Emirati astronaut became the first Arab astronaut to embark on a long-term historic space mission and the first Arab to perform a nearly seven-hour spacewalk.
While on board the International Space Station (ISS), Al Neyadi conducted more than 200 advanced research experiments and studies in partnership with 10 international space agencies and 25 leading UAE and global universities.
The victorious endeavor encouraged the UAE to set new heights with its ambitious plans to conduct deeper exploration of Mars fourth planet close to Earth.
In 2020, the UAE made history by launching the Hope Probe, a state-of-the-art spacecraft designed to study the atmosphere on the red planet.
Known as the Emirates Mars mission, the ambitious initiative marked the first planetary science mission led by an Arab-Islamic country.
The Hope spacecraft successfully entered orbit around Mars on February 9, 2021, and since then, made significant milestones and discoveries of the red planet.
The UAE also plans to fly by Venus in July 2028 before exploring the seven space rocks in the main asteroid belt and will attempt to land on the last one between February 2030 and January 2031.
Inspired by the success of the Mars mission and Al Neyadi’s triumphant journey to space, the UAE is currently training the next batch of astronauts for future human space flight missions and is planning to send an Emirati astronaut to the Moon by 2024.