Dubai: The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre’s ‘A Call with Space’ event held at the Dubai Opera today brought together around 2,000 eager participants to interact with Emirati astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi, who spoke live from the International Space Station (ISS). The astronaut, who has made history by embarking on the longest Arab space mission, answered a diverse range of questions from the public.
The first in a series of nine live public interactions of ‘A Call With Space’, the much-awaited event was attended by space enthusiasts of all ages and aspiring astronauts. The one-hour event, which commenced with immersive performances, featured an engaging 20-minute discussion between the public and Sultan.
The event was an exceptional opportunity for the public to connect with Sultan and ask him questions about his schedule on the ISS, the scientific experiments being conducted on board the space station, how he communicates with his family and the challenges he faced while living in the unique environment of space. Young students asked Sultan about how oxygen is produced, how astronauts keep things from floating in space, and how they keep track of time within the ISS.
During the call, Al Neyadi demonstrated how he is getting familiar with the harsh environment of space by floating in all directions, and how they use velcro and other items to keep things from floating away. He also shared with the audience the kind of food he has and showed them how he eats candies and drinks water from a packet.
Speaking about how he keeps track of time, Al Neyadi said: “In space we use GMT time because it’s difficult to track time depending on the sun, as we see 16 sunrises and sunsets every day. For us time flies really fast here.” ‘A Call with Space’ will now head to other venues across all seven emirates in the UAE. The next event in the series is scheduled for 12 April.
The longest Arab space mission in history, led by astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi to the International Space Station (ISS), successfully launched from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on 2 March on board the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. Al Neyadi and his Crew-6 teammates docked with the ISS on March 3, after a 24-hour flight onboard the SpaceX Dragon Endeavor spacecraft, marking the start of the six-month mission.
The UAE Astronaut Programme is one of the projects managed by MBRSC under the UAE’s National Space Programme and funded by the ICT Fund of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), which aims to support research and development in the ICT sector in the UAE and promote the country’s integration on the global stage.