Dubai: Yamama Badwan
Hazza Al Mansouri and Sultan Al Neyadi, the two Emirati astronauts, have completed about 85% of the advanced training program at NASA, after 20 months of theoretical and practical training, to become professionals and ready for all types of space flights, whether long or short, and whether trips to the International Station. Or on American spacecraft, as part of a cooperation agreement between the UAE and the United States to send an Emirati astronaut on the first long-term 6-month mission, which will be launched in the spring of next year aboard the International Station.
The astronauts’ training journey began at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, USA, on September 11, 2020, where they began in the first year, specifically at the end of October of the same year, taking accurate measurements of the gloves, which play an important role in facilitating the movement of astronauts during the performance of the mission , and protecting them from accidents that may occur, and from the harsh environment, followed by the completion of the first training on routine tasks at the station, which included computer systems, equipment storage and locating, and communication with ground stations, and at the end of 2020, they underwent a measurement of a (EMU) suit. , which weighs more than 130 kilograms.
In March 2021, the two astronauts worked on exercises in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, for a period of 6 continuous hours, during which they performed various tasks in simulating the external maintenance operations of the station during spacewalks, followed by that on May 23, the start of the flight of T-38 aircraft. and familiarization with the aircraft’s components, control and navigation systems, and standard procedures. On July 8, they passed the final tests of the aircraft, by conducting training flights, exposure to high “G” forces, planning the flight path, and communicating with air safety control towers. In early September, The two astronauts practiced capturing the Cygnus cargo vehicle using the robotic arm “Kandarm 2” in the “dome” unit at the Johnson Space Center, followed by simulating microgravity in space, through specialized sports equipment, and in early October, the two astronauts passed the first year’s training Successfully, after being evaluated by a panel of elite trainers and EMU experts.
In the second and final training year, which is nearing completion, Al-Mansoori and Al-Niyadi underwent a number of training and equipment, including dedicating a week to trying more than 200 types of food and beverages at the NASA Food Systems Laboratory, in March 2022, to choose their favorite items in the « The menu” in the form of cans and compressed bags, including meat, vegetables, soup, coffee, dried fruits, and others. Then, on March 31, the two astronauts completed extensive training on the robotic arm at the Canadian Space Agency, which included carrying out operations to support spacewalking missions and picking up cargo vehicles. And dealing with external payloads. At the end of last April, they experienced wearing the astronauts’ complete white suit, with the helmet, which requires 45 minutes to wear it completely and install the equipment attached to it, which acts as a kind of small spacecraft, by providing the astronauts with the environment and the required equipment. To stay in space, to walk in it.
In early May, the two astronauts began training to use a special camera to take pictures, during a spacewalk mission outside the International Station, through a specialized camera, and NASA worked on preparing a file in the eighties of the last century, comprising 36 pages, explaining how to deal With camera parts, change lenses and batteries, define photo frame and reduce camera shake.
On May 8, the two astronauts received the astronaut badge from NASA’s Johnson Center, following the completion of their general training, which lasted about 20 months, for the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center to announce their readiness to work aboard the International Station.
Also on May 10, Al Mansouri and Al Neyadi underwent medical training, with the aim of acquiring basic first aid skills, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation and tooth extraction. The lack of usual access remained to experts to assist them, by receiving technical and soft skills, in 16 different courses, in life support systems, orbital mechanics, payload deployment, Earth observations, physiology and medicine.
Al Mansouri and Al Neyadi receive the NASA logo
During the experience of wearing the pioneer suit and helmet
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