DUBAI, July 25 (Xinhua) -- President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced on Monday the selection of Sultan Al Neyadi as the second Emirati astronaut to go to space.

The president tweeted "this historic milestone builds on the strong foundations of the UAE's burgeoning space program."

Al Neyadi will go to the International Space Station (ISS) for a six-month mission that will commence by spring next year. He previously served as the backup astronaut for Hazza Al Mansouri, the first Emirati astronaut who was sent to the ISS in 2019.

According to UAE's Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), "Al Neyadi will spend six months aboard the ISS, where he will conduct in-depth and advanced scientific experiments as part of the UAE Astronaut Programme, which aims to train and prepare a team of Emirati astronauts and send them to space to carry out various scientific missions."

Al Neyadi earlier learned the systems of Russia's Soyuz spacecraft. He further honed his knowledge and skills in space travel at NASA and passed all the required training in the astronaut corps by the U.S. Space Agency. He has been trained for spacewalks, handling onboard systems, flying T-38 and T-6 jets, as well as various extravehicular activities (EVA) like capturing cargo vehicles and handling payloads using a robotic manipulator arm.

Al Neyadi, born on May 23, 1981, had served in the UAE Armed Forces as a network security engineer. He holds a doctoral degree in information technology from Australia's Griffith University and a bachelor of science degree in electronics and communication engineering from the University of Brighton in England.