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 American astronauts Andrew Morgan, American astronaut Jessica Meir, and American astronaut Nick Hague. and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka.
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.
Khadim Abdullah Al Darei welcomed the visiting team and said: The UAE, under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the State, may God protect him, and 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, may God protect him, and his His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, has become a source of pride and honor.
The astronauts program began with a tour of the basic stage section, where the students lined up waving the UAE flags. During the visit, the astronauts met the students in their classes and reviewed some of the students’ work related to space.
Discussions were organized at the Academy’s theater for the upper stage students, which began with an opening speech by Neil Matthews, the school director, 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 the UAE To develop its own space program, and the fruit of the efforts that culminated in the establishment of the Emirates Space Agency and the achievement of the first Emirati astronaut, Hazza Al Mansouri.
During the panel discussions, the astronauts talked about their experiences, the most important challenges and lessons learned from their flights, and answered students’ inquiries.
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.
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 it 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.
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.
On how he adapts to the sun’s rays during his flight, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka said that the International Space Station flies through low Earth orbit, which is within the range of the planet, which makes the radiation risk unlikely.
In turn, American astronaut Nick Hague said that the constant desire to learn and acquire knowledge is a trait that any astronaut must possess. (wam)
“Proud twitter enthusiast. Introvert. Hardcore alcohol junkie. Lifelong food specialist. Internet guru.”