Home NEWS UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi tells Steve Harvey about life in space

UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi tells Steve Harvey about life in space

UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi tells Steve Harvey about life in space

American television host Steve Harvey briefly stepped out of his entertainer role on Wednesday to interview UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi about life in space.

In a packed auditorium at George Washington University in the US capital, the UAE connected a rapt audience to the International Space Station.

The 20-minute discussion, moderated by Harvey, featured both Dr Al Neyadi and Nasa astronaut Woody Hoburg.

Several university students stepped forward to ask the astronauts questions about life among the stars.

Harvey kept the conversation light and informal, making sure the average person could understand the complex topics being discussed.

He was joined at the event by Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE’s ambassador to the US.

“This is a first for me, but congratulations to both of you,” Harvey told the astronauts as he asked them about life on the ISS. “I think what you’ve accomplished is absolutely incredible.”

UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi tells Steve Harvey about life in space

Asked by Harvey whether this mission had been a childhood dream, Dr Al Neyadi spoke about how growing up in a remote area of the UAE helped him become passionate about space.

“I remember in the 80s, when there was very little light pollution, we could see really nice stars,” he said.

“So, someone at my age, when I was probably eight years old, we start wondering – do we have the ability visit other stars and planets?”

The Emirati astronaut is scheduled to return to Earth on September 1 after completing a six-month science mission aboard the orbiting outpost.

This is also Mr Woody’s first time in space. Both astronauts carried out their first spacewalks during this mission.

Mr Al Otaiba told Dr Al Neyadi that he was proud of him for carrying out the extended mission.

“Down here on planet Earth, we as diplomats try to solve and fix, or at least improve, some of the challenges we have,” said Mr Al Otaiba.

Dr Al Neyadi said that collaboration in space could be used serve as an example to governments back on Earth.

The ISS was created and has received visitors from a number of countries, including the US and Russia.

Despite their political differences on the ground, Washington and Moscow have remained partners on the orbiting outpost for more than 20 years.

“Indeed, we have a different perspective when we come here and I always say we live as a family … I would call it a space family,” said Dr Al Neyadi.

“And we’ve trained together for so many years, we become just like brothers and sisters.

“I can’t think of a better place where people can live in peace and harmony than here in the International Space Station.

“If this is applicable in space, I think it is definitely applicable on Earth.”

Dr Al Neyadi, Mr Woody and two of their colleagues will depart from the station next Friday aboard a SpaceX Dragon capsule.

It will be a 24-hour-long journey home, with a splashdown off the coast of Florida.

Updated: August 23, 2023, 7:06 PM

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