First Emirati Astronaut Hazzaa Al Mansoori conducts experiments on ISS.
Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent
Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), Dubai, invites applications from the UAE’s research entities to propose scientific or technology-driven projects in the fields of Human Health or Earth & Space Science to be conducted by astronauts on the International Space Station.
The objective of the initiative is to provide research entities in the UAE the opportunity to further humanity’s knowledge and support future space missions by conducting research that tackles challenges faced in the region that would eventually prepare for human exploration of the solar system beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
“We are excited to open the doors of our growing space sector to the scientific community in the UAE and look forward to receiving proposals that will extend humankind’s reach into space. This is an amazing opportunity for the scientific community to contribute to space research while gaining invaluable skills that will serve them well through the years,” said MBRSC Director General Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani.
Earth & Space Science projects on the ISS mainly focus on testing technologies and materials that will be vital for long-duration exploration missions, or collecting Earth & space science related data from an altitude of ~400 km to provide comprehensive information when compared with data from Earth satellites or ground-based observatories. Whereas, human health research done on the space station focuses on improving astronaut health and performance, development of countermeasures, as well as the development and validation of new technologies to meet the needs of future exploration missions, and to enable safe and productive human space exploration.
“We are proud to invite the brightest minds of the UAE to partake in the nation’s space exploration journey. The innovative and future-focused programme will create a new paradigm in building capabilities for the UAE in space science and technology, and will be a source of inspiration for future generation of scientists,” said Salem Al Marri, Head of the UAE Astronaut Programme, MBRSC.
The invitation for proposals is open only to research entities in the UAE. Interested researchers may contact firstname.lastname@example.org, latest by April 9, 2020, for more information on the submission process.
The UAE Astronaut Programme is one of the projects managed by the UAE’s National Space Programme and funded by the ICT Fund of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).
In Dec 19, a team of engineers from the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center, MBRSC, along with university students who were part of a space science research programme affiliated with the centre, participated in the meeting of the American Geophysical Union, AGU.
The meeting is the largest annual international gathering related to Earth and space sciences.
The research projects discussed by the centre at the conference were presented by researcher Hessa Al Matrooshi, Leader of the Team responsible for the Management and Analysis of Scientific Data at the Hope Probe Project, Eng. Khaled Badri, Engineer of Scientific Devices at the Centre, and Ahmed Al Hantoubi, Third Year Student at Khalifa University.
Al Matrooshi stated that the centre’s participation in the AGU 2019 reflects the regional and international success of the UAE’s national space sector, as well as the centre’s space research capacities.
She added that the scientific research presented at the AGU 2019 aims to produce an accurate visualisation of an important type of oxygen radiation present in the atmosphere of Mars, affirming that this research will contribute positively to the Hope Probe project.
“As a result of this scientific research, we can analyse scientific data obtained from the Emirates Mars Mission, or the Hope Probe, through the spectrophotometer tool, EMUS,” she said.
She also explained that the images that EMUS will capture have been simulated while considering engineering observational factors, noting that their research will focus on studying the relationship between oxygen radiation and solar activity on Mars.
The study relied on data from the MAVEN mission, Al Matrooshi further added, stressing that the results of preliminary studies show that oxygen radiation is more affected by solar activity when it is high, but when it is low, oxygen radiation is more affected by the dynamics of the upper layer of the atmosphere of Mars.
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Emirati astronaut Hazzaa Al Mansoori, 35, successfully took off onboard a Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan last September to script history by becoming the first Arab on the International Space Station (ISS), drawing cheers from across the globe.
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