“The first two days, I couldn’t move, it was so difficult in microgravity. All I could wonder, was how do astronauts make it through this,” exclaimed UAE’s first astronaut Hazza AlMansoori as he met journalists in Dubai on Tuesday. He was talking about his first spaceflight to the International Space Station last month.
Gradually, the other cosmonauts and the astronauts helped Hazza adapt to microgravity. “In time it became easier,” he said.
But, Hazza who had a busy schedule ahead said there was no time to lose. He added: “I had to be practical and get my act together, there were many experiments to do in a short time.” He repeated a few experiments to ensure they had been done perfectly.
It was a difficult trip out into space, but it was so beautiful that he would do it all over again, as many times as “time permits”. Recalling the launch on September 25, Hazza said: “During the launch I was more excited than scared. In my mind, if I felt scared, I kept going back to my training. Your body receives four times the pressure as compared to your weight. You are sitting on tons of fuel, it’s risky but we need to keep calm. We knew what to expect because of our trainings.”
Hazza, completed UAE’s Astronaut Mission 1 successfully last month and returned to the UAE on October 12, 2019. He said: “When I returned and was received by the leaders of the country, my family and UAE students, I felt so proud.”
UAE’s Astronaut Mission 2 and more
Hazzaa’s successful completion of this spaceflight was just the first step in UAE’s future space plans. According to Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Center, the country is planning future space visits and the next mission will be announced soon.Engineer Salem Humaid Al Marri of MBRSC, said: “The Hope probe to Mars is the next big project for the UAE.”
The Hope Mars Mission also called Emirates Mars Mission, is a space exploration probe mission to Mars funded by the United Arab Emirates and built by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, the University of Colorado and Arizona State University and set for launch in 2020.He said: “We will become the first Islamic country to launch a mission to Mars. Next July we will launch the Hope probe and it will take seven to nine months to reach Mars. We will be the fourth or fifth country to do so.”
Seeing the Earth from space
The 35-year-old astronaut couldn’t stop talking about how beautiful the Earth looks from space: ”Once you get out there, it’s not like how you see it on TV, it’s different. I cannot describe it in simple words.”Climate change Hazza said: “Looking at your planet from space makes you appreciate what you have on Earth.”
Addressing the change that the Earth was facing due to climate change, he said: “We have to preserve and treat it with respect. We need to understand the real reasons behind global warming and start addressing the impact of our actions at a personal level.”