A second astronaut from the United Arab Emirates is still adjusting to life away from Earth after rocketing to the International Space Station last week.
“I’m still competing. I’m still learning,” Sultan al-Niyadi said on Tuesday, but added that he hopes to improve in the coming days.
He is the second UAE. Astronaut to fly in space and the first person from the Arab world to be assigned to a long space flight – the others stayed for about a week. He will be there until September.
Al Nyadi assured the ruler of Dubai in a video call on Tuesday that he and the rest of his staff were fine. But he joked that the little plush astronaut toy he picked up was coping with microgravity better than him.
“I thank God that you have come this far. International Space Station And we thank God for your safety,” Sheikh Muhammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, WHO Also serves as the country’s Prime Minister and Vice President, the space center named after him.
SpaceX launched al-Niyadi, a Russian astronaut and two NASA astronauts on their six-month mission last Thursday.
The UAE’s first astronaut Huza Al Mansoori took part in a short video chat from Dubai on Tuesday. Al-Niyadi’s astronaut toy, nicknamed Sohail, Arabic for the brilliant star Canopes, also accompanied Al-Mansouri on his 2019 space station mission.
“Hopefully people will follow in the footsteps of my brother Huzza and myself,” Al Nyadi said, flags of the UAE and its space center hanging behind him. “That’s what we hope for.”