“I always say that everything is possible for the people of the UAE, and our strong will makes the impossible possible.” Inspirational words from the UAE Vice-President have been relayed from Earth to space as he held a live video call with Emirati astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi, who is aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, highlighted how the country’s journey started more than 50 years ago from the desert without any capabilities. “Today, our flag has reached space and flies around Mars,” he said, referring to the country’s successful Hope Probe mission to the Red Planet.

Sheikh Mohammed told AlNeyadi that the Arab region is in dire need of an inspirational role model to develop its scientific capabilities. “The UAE’s achievements have provided a model not only for the region but also for the world … Your accomplishment today has fulfilled the dream of your fellow Arabs.”

AlNeyadi and his Crew-6 mates docked with the ISS on Friday for the longest Arab space mission that will last six months.

Sheikh Mohammed emphasised that the UAE is sending a new message of development to the world. It is demonstrating how to create a new reality and a brighter future for the region by prioritising education, knowledge-sharing, and leveraging technology to unlock new opportunities. “The Emirati dream does not allow for setbacks or complacency. Every dream we have is followed by a greater dream that surpasses expectations and breaks new ground. Space has opened its doors to us.”

During his live call from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), the UAE Vice-President said the UAE has earned its place among the stars “thanks to the tireless efforts of its sons and daughters”.

The best is yet to come, he added.

“The aspiration began in the 1970s with the late Sheikh Zayed’s dream and determination to explore space and etch the name of the UAE not only on Earth, but also in the sky.”

Space experiments

Sheikh Mohammed was briefed on the scientific experiments carried out by AlNeyadi since his arrival at the ISS. He was informed that the planned scientific programme is on track and provides an opportunity for the UAE to collaborate with international space agencies in conducting research, particularly on the effects of zero gravity on the human body and how to mitigate its risks in the future.

During the meeting, Sheikh Mohammed listened to astronaut AlMansoori explain the details of the Zayed Ambition 2 mission, and the research and experiments that the Crew-6 team will conduct during their six-month stay on the ISS.

The Crew-6 is now gearing up for a handover from the Crew-5 team, who will undock and splash down off the coast of Florida once their work is complete. After the handover, Crew-6 will carry out novel and innovative scientific research aimed at preparing for human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit and advancing life on Earth.

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