Hazzaa medical tests
Hazzaa undergoes medical tests in Moscow Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Hazzaa Al Mansouri, the first Emirati in space, continues to undergo tests at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre at Star City, Moscow, Russia, after returning to Earth last week following his eight-day stay onboard the International Space Station (ISS).

The 35-year-old military pilot from Abu Dhabi conducted 16 experiments while in space in cooperation with several international space agencies, including Roscosmos, the European Space Agency (ESA), NASA, and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Six of these experiments were conducted in microgravity, and the results of the two environments are to be compared here on Earth with the help of flight surgeon Hanan Al Suwaidi, who is following up on the experiments and Hazzaa’s medical condition.

The experiments include studying the reaction of vital indicators of the human body aboard the ISS, as well as other physical, biological and chemical experiments.

As the first Arab onboard the ISS and only the third Arab to go into space, Al Mansouri is the first astronaut from the Arab region to participate in such research.

Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, Director General of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), said, “Carrying on with the medical studies is an important part of the UAE’s first manned mission to space. Through the work of the UAE Astronaut Programme team and in partnership with the global agencies, we ensure the success of the scientific mission, which will add new and important data to the global scientific community about the impact of space missions on human beings.

“We work as per the wise leadership’s vision, by ensuring that the space projects and programmes launched by MBRSC reap benefits on a regional and global level. This is what Al Mansouri’s mission to the ISS strives to achieve,” added Al Shaibani.

The experiments include testing sensory adaptation, osteology tests to study bone status indexes, body composition, and endocrine regulation in astronauts, before and after a short-term space flight, as well as body composition, fluid shifts, physical activities, and astronaut nutrition.

Al Mansouri is also completing comprehensive diagnosis for the kidney, thyroid, and digestive system using ultrasound, in addition to the study of autonomic regulation of the cardiovascular system, central hymodynamics, and the influence of space flight factors on the spatial distribution of the energy of heart contractions.

The medical studies included the cardio-vector experiment which studies the heart rate variability analysis in comparison between Earth and space; as well as the motor control and countermeasures, which is the study of mechanisms of action and efficiency of different countermeasures against disturbances in the astronaut’s motor activity under space flight conditions. Al Mansouri also underwent a balance experiment, which was also done hours before his flight, and a time perception experiment, the first phase of which was conducted in Germany before the flight.

Salem Al Marri, UAE Astronaut Programme Manager, said: “The experiments Hazzaa is undergoing now are part of his scientific mission which started before his flight to ISS; he is going through a number of medical checks to study the effects of space flights on humans. The objective is to find answers to questions posed by the scientific community.

“Hazzaa is in good health and high morale. His mission continues after he’s back to the UAE, when he will be sharing his experience with a number of academic and scientific entities,” he added.