ABU DHABI, October 31 / WAM / The Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Boys in Abu Dhabi, in cooperation with the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center, hosted a group of international astronauts, including Hazza Al Mansouri, the first Emirati astronaut.
The team included US astronauts Andrew Morgan, US astronauts Jessica Meir, US astronauts Nick Haig and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka.
Upon their arrival at the Academy, they were received by Khadim Abdullah Al-Darai, Managing Director of Al Ain Holding Group, Chairman of the Academy’s Board of Trustees, a number of members of the Board of Trustees, members of the administrative and teaching staff, and the Student Council.
His Excellency Khadim Abdullah Al Darei welcomed the visiting team, pointing to the great role they play in the field of scientific research and space exploration, which benefits humanity and the world at large. With the follow-up and support of 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 Armed Forces, it has become a source of pride and pride in consolidating its position in the field of space exploration. And his knowledge.
Al Darei added: We are proud of the UAE joining the missions of the space exploration program and the march of scientific progress and unprecedented achievements that coincide with the country’s celebration of the fiftieth year, coinciding with hosting the 72nd International Space Conference, the first in the Arab region, which is the largest in the field of space globally. International astronauts and conference participants at the Academy in support of the UAE’s role in consolidating the spirit of diligence, seeking knowledge, research and exploration among the future generation, and that the Academy, with its supporting programs, always seeks to provide its students with a learning environment that encourages them to research and scientific excellence.
The astronaut program began with a tour of the basic stage section, where the students lined up waving UAE flags to express their pride in receiving the first Emirati astronaut and meeting the international astronaut team at the academy.
During the visit, the astronauts met with the students in their classes, where they were briefed on some of the students’ work related to space, and they also interacted with the students in terms of answering questions related to space flights.
Discussions were also organized in the Academy’s theater for the students of the upper stage, which began with an opening speech by Neil Matthews, Director of the School, during which he touched on the history of the international program in space exploration, and praised the vision of the founding leader, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan – may God rest his soul – and his interest and belief in the ability of a state The UAE is developing its own space program, and the result of the efforts that culminated in the establishment of the Emirates Space Agency and the achievement of the first Emirati astronaut, Hazza Al Mansouri.
He explained that the academy’s hosting of the international astronaut team is an inspiring opportunity for students that supports the academy’s efforts in promoting innovation and positive ambition to foresee the future.
The astronauts also spoke during the panel discussions about their experiences, the most important challenges and lessons learned from their flights, and answered the students’ inquiries that indicated their keen interest in space science and their curiosity towards learning more about the astronauts’ experiences and experiences.
Emirati astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri stressed the importance of quality education in the field of space, in addition to the basic skills required such as teamwork, communication and leadership, and the desire to acquire knowledge and various technical and life skills.
He expressed his ambition to participate in more projects dedicated to space exploration, such as robots used on the moon’s surface, and his desire to join the tasks related to the study of the neurological eye syndrome associated with spaceflight.
Hazza Al Mansouri affirmed his commitment to always be a source of inspiration for everyone in terms of continuous development, training, preparation for future missions and the exchange of international experiences. He indicated that the UAE is planning other missions in the future.
He added: It is important for a person to have the motivation and the ability to acquire more and more skills, and the need to assume the responsibilities that fall upon him and abide by his duties and tasks, and set an example for himself when he used the fame he obtained well as a way to inspire others.
In response to a question about the adaptation period after returning from space and the effect of gravity on them, US astronaut Andrew Morgan said that this is related to their receiving the necessary training before the start of the flight and their keenness to maintain their physical fitness by exercising and comprehensive exercises daily for two and a half hours.
He talked about the rehabilitation period they receive after returning from space to regain their balance and about the gravity that allows them to slide and walk on the ceiling, eat and take pictures of planet Earth from the window, in addition to making calls and talking to their families from outer space.
For her part, astronaut Jessica Meir spoke about joining the first female mission outside the International Space Station and the first spacewalk mission that was limited to female astronauts only, and said that the mission to walk in outer space is very difficult on both the mental and physical levels, so they had to be careful to prepare and comprehensively prepare. to complete the task successfully.
She pointed out that the astronauts must work to form a good team whose members can protect each other and have enough communication and leadership skills to be able to live together in one place for up to six months.
And about how he adapted to the sun’s rays during his journey..
Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka said that the International Space Station is flying through low Earth orbit, which is within the range of the planet, which makes the radiation risk unlikely.
In turn, US astronaut Nick Haig said that the constant desire to learn and gain more knowledge is a trait that any astronaut must possess, especially since they live in space vehicles for long periods, so they must know how to be doctors, engineers and technicians and learn how to repair objects and drive spacecraft.
He said, “Despite the readiness of the pioneers given the training they do all the time, he was surprised at what it really was this time and over time he realized that there is some risk and risk in every mission they undertake.”
For their part, the attendees praised the joining of two Emirati astronauts to the team next year, and they interacted with the astronauts’ explanations and their answers, which were rich and motivating, as they touched on several aspects of the missions of the space exploration programs and the preparation of astronauts.
His Excellency Khadim Abdullah Al-Darai asked whether it is possible to have the option of life on other planets during the next 50 years, and the pioneer team explained that all successes began with a dream, and that they are working in full swing all the time to search for solutions to the problems that prevent this from being achieved. Such as radiation, energy, communication methods, and the ability of bodies to adapt to the outer space environment, adding that international partnerships with the International Space Agency, advances in science and space exploration, and the availability of resources are things that would support and help achieve such a dream.
At the conclusion of the discussion session, His Excellency Khadim Abdullah Al Darei thanked the astronaut team and praised their visit, expressing his pride in their presence at the Academy and in providing the students with the opportunity to meet with them, listen to their experiences and answer their inquiries, which were encouraging and stimulating to their imagination and ambitions that will guide them towards a bright future.
The visit concluded with the signing of the astronauts in the academy’s visitor’s register, then His Excellency Khadim Abdullah Al Derei handed over the memorial shields to the astronauts and took a group photo.
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