Emirati astronaut continues preparations for space flight - GulfToday

Emirati astronaut continues preparations for space flight


Hazzaa Al Mansoori. File

The UAE’s first astronaut, Hazzaa Al Mansoori, documented his training at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, through a 60-second video, which he posted as a story on his personal Instagram account. In the video, he appeared to be training on the brutal rotating chair, in order to stimulate the balance system in the inner ear, according to his comment. The experiment helps reduce the side effects on the human body incurred by lack of gravity in space, according to Yamama Bedwan, Staff Reporter.

In another comment, he added that he successfully completed the 10-minute rotating chair training on his sixth day at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, where he is preparing for a space flight to the International Space Station after 8 days, as part of the S61 Expedition crew that is composed of the first Emirati astronaut Hazza Al Mansoori, American astronaut Jessica Meir and Russian commander Oleg Skripochka.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center also posted on its Instagram page a video in which Hazza Al Mansoori appeared to answer the question “How do astronauts reach the International Space Station (ISS)?”, replying: “Currently, the only way for astronauts to reach the ISS is the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. There was another way: the US space shuttle, which stopped in 2011.”

For a first-timer, the sheer feeling of embarking on a mission to space must be overwhelming the senses. It could be filling one with thrills and great expectations. The mere fact that you are going into an unknown destination  – in outer space, away from your familiar terrain of family and friends, from a terrestrial work station to an extraterrestrial space station – must be incredible, ineffable, and indelible.

It goes to the credit of the remarkable UAE leadership which conceived the idea of Emiratis trammelling space frontiers – hitherto a feat achieved by a select few countries – a move which would not only spiral the self-esteem of the UAE national, but also boost the global prestige and pride of the nation.

The UAE leadership, represented by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, launched the UAE Astronaut Programme to prepare the first Emirati astronaut corps to participate in global space exploration missions by 2021. The UAE Astronaut Programme is considered one of the most inspirational programmes that meet the wishes of youth with distinguished capabilities in terms of scientific standards and personal skills. The programme has also become one of the most important projects of the National Space Programme. It was launched in April 2017 to set up an infrastructure for the UAE space industry.

E-registration of the UAE Astronaut Programme was announced in December 2017. Anyone who believes they are highly competent and qualified to be the first Emirati astronaut and to represent their country internationally, can apply and register by logging on the website: mbrsc.ae/astronauts.

Strategic Objectives

The UAE Astronaut Programme aims to develop national scientific corps and prepare future generations to reach the highest international standards. In line with the national strategy, the programme also aims to fulfil the UAE’s aspirations in taking part in scientific missions and manned space exploration missions. MBRSC looks forward to developing a national team of astronauts who can achieve the country’s ambitions:

• Support the UAE’s vision of a prosperous future based on knowledge and scientific research

• Contribute in scientific exploration missions by developing the first Emirati astronaut corps

• Encourage and inspire young generations to be successful in STEM subjects to promote the culture of research and passion for exploration and innovation

• Strengthen the UAE’s position internationally in the space sector through contributing to manned space missions

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