Emirates Honors UAE Space Exploration Milestones

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A unique special flight is being conducted by Emirates in conjunction with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) to commemorate the UAE’s forward-thinking national space endeavors. Hazzaa AlMansoori, the first Emirati astronaut in space, and Dr. Sultan AlNeyadi, a national hero who had recently returned from a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS), were honored visitors onboard.

By undertaking numerous missions and projects for the UAE, the MBRSC team has developed its capabilities and expertise to the point where it can compete on the international stage, thereby significantly contributing to the development of a robust and diverse space sector.

In recognition of the UAE’s aspiration to establish its prowess in aeronautical innovation and space exploration on an international scale, a custom astronaut decal was put on the Emirates A380. EK2641, under the leadership of First Officer Alex Van Der Veer and Captain Abdalla Abdelrahman Al Hammadi, departed Dubai International Airport at 12:00 and traversed all seven Emirates en route. Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer, Salem Humaid AlMarri, Director General of MBRSC, Sultan AlNeyadi, Hazzaa AlMansoori, and crew members of Expedition 69 accompanied the astronauts onboard, in addition to nearly 200 MBRSC employees.

Hazzaa AlMansoori and Dr Sultan AlNeyadi paid a visit to Emirates Headquarters prior to departure, where they were cordially received by Emirates President Sir Tim Clark and Chief Operating Officer Adel Al Redha. Subsequently, Emirates staff were granted the extraordinary opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer session, which was followed by a meet and greet with the two revered astronauts.

Director General of MBRSC H.E. Salem Humaid AlMarri stated:

We are grateful to Emirates for this exceptional gesture, honouring the astronauts and the team at MBRSC. Today’s event symbolised our shared vision and commitment to pioneering and recognizing the contributions of the aerospace sector. As we look to the future, MBRSC remains dedicated to driving the UAE and the region towards new frontiers in space exploration and innovation. With our leadership’s futuristic vision, we are ready to uncover new discoveries, achieve milestones, and further enhance our nation’s global presence in the field of space.

Adel Al Redha, Emirates COO said:

We are honoured to celebrate the successful mission and return of Dr Sultan AlNeyadi, as well as the ground-breaking work of MBRSC to propel the UAE’s flourishing space sector. Whether it’s soaring through the skies or rocketing into the atmosphere, Emirates pilots and MBRSC astronauts share a passion for discovery and are a source of innovation and inspiration for all. As MBRSC pioneers the final frontier, Emirates’ vast network of over 140 destinations across six continents enable earth-bound travellers to explore almost every corner of the world. Together, we will continue to support the UAE’s vision to unveil new knowledge and discover new horizons, both on and off planet.


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