MBRSC welcomes Expedition 69 international crew for UAE tour

The astronauts initiated their visit by joining the Dubai Run and offering the Dubai 30X30 flag, with their signatures, to Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) extended a warm welcome to the international crew of Expedition 69, consisting of NASA and Roscosmos astronauts, for an eventful visit to the UAE.

Expedition 69 marked the 69th long-duration expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), featuring Roscosmos astronauts Sergey Prokopyev, Dmitri Petelin, and Andrey Fedyaev, NASA astronauts Frank Rubio, Stephen Bowen, Woody Hoburg, and Emirati astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi, who undertook the longest Arab space mission in history.

Guided by AlNeyadi and astronaut Hazzaa AlMansoori, the first Arab increment lead of Expedition 69, the NASA and Roscosmos astronauts embarked on a week-long itinerary filled with events, educational tours, and cultural visits. This visit emphasises the UAE’s commitment to nurturing a knowledge-based economy and inspiring the younger generation.

Kicking off their visit, the astronauts participated in the Dubai Run on November 26 and presented the Dubai 30X30 flag with their signatures to Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, and President of MBRSC.

In the coming days, the astronauts are scheduled to engage in interactive sessions at various universities across the UAE, including UAE University, American University of Sharjah, University of Sharjah, Higher Colleges of Technology Dubai, American University in Dubai, Khalifa University, and New York University Abu Dhabi. These sessions aim to share their invaluable experiences and insights, sparking a passion for space exploration among students.

A highlight of the visit includes the crew’s participation in the Dubai Future Forum event, where they will be part of a panel discussion titled ‘Learnings from Space for Humanity’ on November 27.

Beyond outreach programmes, the astronauts will immerse themselves in cultural tours, exploring the rich heritage and vibrant history of the UAE in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. These tours reflect the country’s deep-rooted culture harmoniously intertwined with futuristic aspirations.

Salem Humaid AlMarri, Director General of MBRSC, said: “We are honoured to host the distinguished crew of Expedition 69. This visit symbolises the strong international partnerships we have fostered in our space endeavours. The success of the UAE Mission 2 to the ISS, led by Sultan AlNeyadi, is a testament to our collective efforts in advancing human spaceflight. We are excited for the knowledge exchange and inspiration this visit will bring to our communities.”