Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 23 May 2019

First Emirati astronaut shares incredible journey with school pupils

Schoolchildren were chosen to complete similar microgravity experiments as those planned by Hazza Al Mansouri

Hazza Al Mansouri, left, and Sultan Al Neyadi have been selected as the first Emirati astronauts, and will conduct similar experiments to those on Earth by a select team of school children. Courtesy: DMO
Hazza Al Mansouri, left, and Sultan Al Neyadi have been selected as the first Emirati astronauts, and will conduct similar experiments to those on Earth by a select team of school children. Courtesy: DMO

The history-making first Emirati astronaut has shared his out of this world success story with UAE school pupils — just months before blasting off into space.

Hazza Al Mansouri fielded questions from star-struck youngsters during a two-day Science in Space workshop at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai.

Mr Al Mansouri addressed 50 pupils, chosen from 750 who applied to take part in the event, alongside fellow Emirati Sultan Al Neyadi, part of the backup team for the mission to the International Space Station on September 25.

As part of the workshop, pupils drawn from 15 schools were also given the chance to conduct experiments that Mr Al Mansouri will carry out while aboard the ISS.

They were shown how to conduct scientific experiments at the ISS in a microgravity environment.

Pupils also learnt about the specific tools and equipment required by the team behind mission.

“The participating students showed their enthusiasm and pride in participating in the scientific experiments,” said Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, director general of MBRSC.

“Students showed their creativity and passion for studying space science during the workshops.

“The first Emirati astronaut’s scientific mission to ISS is a historic event for the UAE’s space sector and the entire region.”

Results of the astronaut's experiments will be sent back to Earth to compare with data from the parallel experiments conducted on-ground by students.

The educational initiative is part of the UAE Astronaut Programme, funded by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, and the first in the Arab world.

“It is essential Emirati students take part in this journey and contribute to scientific experiments,” said Mr Al Shaibani.

“At MBRSC, we are committed to engaging students in space programmes, to prepare a generation of experts in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, especially space science.”

Updated: May 12, 2019 05:15 PM

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