Dubai: The world’s first Arabic tour of the International Space Station (ISS) is finally out.
Emirati astronaut Hazzaa AlMansoori’s most-awaited tour of the ISS, including what space life is like, was released on Wednesday by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC).
The 17-minute minute video is the first tour conducted in Arabic language where Hazzaa explained the segments, units, components, equipment and tools of the space station that is orbiting the earth at an altitude of 400km.
Hazzaa floated around the space station and gave a detailed explanation of the Russian segment on board the ISS. He also pointed to a picture of Yuri Gagarin, the world’s first man in space, and Sergei Korolev, a lead Soviet rocket engineer and spacecraft designer, regarded as the father of practical astronautics.
During the tour, Hazzaa showed viewers how he and other astronauts sleep in space.
“In this area we have the crew quarter as they call it. Astronauts can sleep here. It is a personal area for astronauts,” Hazzaa said.
“For people asking how astronauts sleep, here you have a sleeping bag. It doesn’t differ from the regular ones. You go inside it like this and sleep. Of course the direction in which you sleep will not differ. Upside down, right side up, it’s all the same. Afterwards, you close the zipper and sleep.”
For those wondering how Astronauts prepare their meals, Hazzaa got them covered as well.
“The food consists of either bottled food or dried food in bags. We just add water to use them using this device,” Hazzaa said.
Astronaut food is dehydrated before they are sent to space because water is heavy. Astronauts just rehydrate their food once in space.
“We put the dried food bags here and turn on the device. Hot or warm water will come out. We then wait for some time before we can eat. We open this part here. Place the food here and heat it. We then close it and wait for some time before eating it,” Hazzaa explained.
Hazzaa also showed the area where he freshens up and does ablution before prayers. He also showed the personal hygiene kits that astronauts use.
“In this area, we use this mirror to brush our teeth and wash our face. I also use it for my ablution. They can close that section for comfort and privacy,” Hazzaa said.
Some 12 minutes into the video, Hazzaa did a cool stunt where he floated downwards with both arms up in the air to go to the SO1, the Russian side where cosmonauts go to don their spacesuits to perform spacewalks.
Hazzaa also showed the treadmill and other equipment like cameras and lenses that they use to take snapshots of the Earth and of the experiments they conduct.
Yousuf Hamad AlShaibani, Director-General of MBRSC, said the centre is confident that the video tour will help elevate knowledge about the space sector in the Arab world.
“The wise leadership in the UAE had directed us to ensure that Hazzaa’s mission aboard ISS is an honourable representation for the Arab region and at MBRSC we are committed to deliver this aspiration. This is why we are keen to share the content of the mission with the Arab world where it can be a trusted source of information,” Al Shaibani said.
Salem AlMarri, Head of the UAE Astronaut Programme, said, “Content about the International Space Station is available online in different languages, but for the first time, detailed Arabic content about the different segments and components of the ISS would be available thanks to AlMansoori’s filmed tour,” said AlMarri, adding, “This video would be the mission’s legacy and we are keen to share it with the Arab region.”
Hazzaa, the first Emirati and Arab on the ISS, was on the space station from September 25 until October 3.