The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) today commemorates the one-year anniversary of the historic launch of the first Emirati to space and the first Arab to the International Space Station. Emirati astronaut Hazzaa AlMansoori embarked on the 8-day mission onboard the Russian spacecraft Soyuz MS-15, at 5:57 pm UAE time on September 25, 2019, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The accomplishment was the realization of the dream of the father of the nation, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and the vision of the leadership to make the country a leading player in shaping the world’s future.
During the mission, AlMansoori conducted 16 scientific experiments in cooperation with international space agencies, including the European Space Agency (ESA), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He studied reactions of vital indicators of the human body, including brain function, osteology, haemodynamics, motor control, time perception in microgravity and fluid dynamics in space, among others.
AlMansoori also conducted experiments involving schools in the UAE as part of MBRSC’s Science in Space initiative. In a joint project between MBRSC and JAXA, he live-streamed from the ISS explaining how JAXA’s “Int-Ball”, a camera robot, worked onboard the Station.
AlMansoori returned to Earth on October 3 after completing his eight-day mission on the ISS. Following the successful mission, MBRSC, through its Outreach Programme conducted events, workshops, conferences with various entities including academic institutions across the UAE with astronauts AlMansoori and Sultan AlNeyadi. Interacting with people from all walks of life, the Emirati astronauts talked in detail about the importance of STEM subjects, their historic achievements, experiences, as well as the scientific and mathematical aspects of life as an astronaut.
AlMansoori and AlNeyadi are currently undergoing advanced training at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, USA, as part of the strategic partnership between NASA and MBRSC to train Emirati astronauts. The partnership is aimed at preparing Emirati astronauts for advanced space missions by providing them with the highest level of expertise and knowledge.
MBRSC is also shortlisting candidates for the second batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme, which will be announced early next year. The second batch of the Programme is aimed at finding the next two astronauts, who will join the UAE’s astronaut corps and further the country’s ambition for crewed space missions.
The UAE Astronaut Programme is one of the projects managed by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre and funded by the ICT Fund of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), which aims to support research and development in the ICT sector in the UAE.