Emirati astronaut has sent end-of-Ramadan greeting from space. Sultan al-Neyadi, 41, sent Eid al-Fitr message to world from the International Space Station. Eid al-Fitr is short holiday that marks the end of holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan is observed by Muslims worldwide as month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and service to community. Mr al-Neyadi is on six-month mission in space. He will be first Arab to complete a spacewalk when he undertakes six-hour task of maintaining and upgrading equipment on orbiting space station. In his Eid message, al-Neyadi said: "May this special occasion bring peace, happiness, and prosperity to the whole world."
Mr al-Neyadi has shared lot of footage of Earth while on his mission. In particular, he has transfixed millions of Muslims with images of holy site of Mecca glowing in dark of night. His achievements have ignited interest in technology among his compatriots in the UAE. He has received many questions about fasting in space. Most adult Muslims are required to fast from dawn to dusk as one of five Pillars of Islam. Al-Neyadi explained that fasting was different in space. This is because he has to avoid activities "that could jeopardize mission or put crew members at risk." He said he needed sufficient food "to prevent any escalation of lack of nutrition or hydration".