Sultan Al Neyadi shines spotlight on 'space farming'

Twitter/Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre

Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi has been growing his own food from the International Space Station (ISS) to help ensure more sustainable and diversified food resources for the future.

Speaking during his most recent ‘A Call from Space’ event, held in Fujairah, he explained how important space farming is for a more sustainable future.

"We have a facility to grow vegetables and plants. I participated in harvesting some tomatoes, which was really interesting," he told the packed audience, before going on to say those on board have access to multiple growing facilities. "The Station has other facilities to harvest some plants. This is something that we test so in the future we can sustain or introduce different elements to our diet, which is important – something nutritious and fresh."

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah, joined the interactive event, along with over 1,000 other attendees, who were able to ask Al Neyadi questions via a live link to the International Space Station.

When asked if he had participated in any other scientific trials in space Al Neyadi confirmed medical, material and technical tests had taken place. “Through these experiments we discover many new things,” he said via video. “They can be useful in developing new treatments, medicines, and materials for construction or manufacturing.” 

Al Neyadi, currently on a six-month mission on board the ISS, also revealed that tests had been carried out on those on board. “We have conducted experiments on ourselves to better prepare astronauts for future missions.” He went on to say, “All of these trials are important and beneficial to humanity.” 

The event is the latest in a series of discussions organised by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC). 

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