First Emirati astronaut to conduct 16 scientific experiments at ISS - GulfToday

Video: First Emirati astronaut to conduct 16 scientific experiments at ISS


Hazzaa Al Mansoori during a training session.

Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent

The UAE’s first astronaut Hazza Al Mansoori, who will go to the International Space Station (ISS) on Sept.25, will conduct 16 scientific experiments in cooperation with international space agencies, including the Russian Roscosmos and the European Space Agency (ESA). Six of these experiments will be done aboard the ISS to study Brain DTI, Osteology, motor control, time perception in microgravity, Fluidics (fluid dynamics in space), and DNAm-Age.

Addressing the media persons in Dubai on Monday, Director General of MBRSC Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani stressed that the scientific experiments and research will contribute to enriching human knowledge and coming up with a database that can be shared with various local and international organisations, which in turn will open new horizons in the global scientific community.

The scientific mission includes experiments involving schools in the UAE as part of the ‘Science in Space’ initiative of Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC). The first phase of the initiative witnessed the participation of nearly 16 schools from the UAE, in the presence of Al Mansoori.

These experiments will be conducted in microgravity environment aboard the ISS and the results will then be compared with those done on earth, to contribute to supporting the UAE curriculum with new scientific materials that will be the result of the UAE's first human space flight.

Head of UAE Astronaut Programme Salem Al Marri said, “Upon Al Mansoori’s arrival at the ISS in September, the UAE will become the 19th country to contribute to scientific research. Al Mansoori will present data related to the human life and body, and he will be the first astronaut from the Arab region to participate in such research.”

Besides Hazza Al Mansoori (UAE), Oleg Skripochka (Russia) and Jessica Meir (US) are the other main crew of this mission, while the back-up crew is comprised of Sultan Al Neyadi (UAE), Sergei Nikolaevich (Russia), and Thomas Henry (US).

Hazza Al Mansoori and Sultan Al Neyadi spent an entire year filled with challenges. During this year, they took many tests and trainings together, with confidence and determination, in preparation for this mission, which is an important milestone in the UAE’s modern history.

The MBRSC is sending a total of 10kg shipment with Hazza Al Mansoori. The shipment has items related to the UAE’s heritage, culture and history.

The shipment includes symbolic items such as the UAE flag and logos, which may be sealed by the ISS upon return, and will be placed in museums or distributed as a souvenir for the UAE’s wise leadership. Among these items are 30 seeds of Ghaf tree which will be planted all over the UAE upon return in celebration of the year of tolerance.

Al Mansoori will also carry with him a photo of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan with a delegation of Apollo astronauts, a copy of the Holy Quran, ‘My Story’ by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and MBRSC’s book The Race to Space.

Fatma Al Sumeiti, operations management specialist in MBRSC, confirmed that Hazza will be taking the winning entries from “Send to Space” competition; from the three categories poetry, stories and paintings with him to space.

On the eve of their departure to the ISS, the astronauts will hold a press conference to answer journalists' questions.

Al Mansoori will also plant a tree in the corridor of the astronauts park at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, following the tradition of astronauts of travel to space for the first time.

Saud Karmustaji, Director of Strategic Communication at MBRSC, said that the rocket loaded with the Soyuz MS15 will be launched at 5:56pm UAE time, and the arrival will be at midnight. Opening the hatch of the spacecraft at the ISS will be two hours after the spacecraft is docked to ensure adequate safety procedures.

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