Dubai: A UAE astronaut spends ten minutes spinning on a chair and it is all part of an intensive preparation for his historic journey to space.
Meet 31-year-old Hazzaa Al Mansoori, UAE's prime astronaut who will make a historic trip to space on September 25.
On August 6 Al Mansoori tweeted from his handle @astro_hazzaa: “I spent 10 minutes in the continuous cumulation of Coriolis acceleration in the Russian (HKYK) chair, which helps reduce the effect of space motion sickness.”
Another tweet from @astro_hazzaa read: “10 minutes spent experimenting with the rotating chair, which stimulates the balance device in the inner ear, to reduce side effects on the human body due to zero gravity in space, called "space rotor".
Al Mansoori and fellow astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi (38), also from the UAE are currently undergoing training inside a Soyuz spacecraft at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Star City, in preparation for the mission.
Star City is a common name of an area in Zvyozdny gorodok, Moscow Oblast, Russia, which has since the 1960s been home to the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center.
As part of the simulation training ahead of his historic journey to the International Space Station (ISS) on September 25, Al Mansoori shared the tweet sitting on the Russian rotating chair to help him deal with motion sickness in space.
For the record, a Soyuz-MS 15 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan will transport Al Mansoori into space. He will return to Earth aboard a Soyuz-MS 12 on October 3.
So what happens to the human body in space?
According to the NASA website : “The ear is made up of several smaller structures that can be organized into three distinct anatomical regions: an outer ear which extends from outside the body through the ear canal to the tympanic membrane (ear drum), a middle ear, an air-filled cavity containing three tiny bones (ossicles) that transmit and amplify sound between the ear drum and the cochlea (where the sense of hearing is located); and the inner ear, composed of the cochlea and the vestibular system.”
More details on site read: “Body movements undertaken in our every day "Earth-normal" environment usually do not upset our sense of balance or body orientation. However, we have all experienced dizziness and difficulty walking after spinning around in a circle. How does the unique gravitational condition encountered in space flight affect an astronaut's sense of body orientation, movement, and balance?”
“Astronauts experience similar sensations of dizziness and disorientation during their first few days in the microgravity environment of space. Upon returning to Earth after prolonged exposure to microgravity, astronauts frequently have difficulty standing and walking upright, stabilizing their gaze, and walking or turning corners in a coordinated manner. An astronaut's sense of balance and body orientation takes time to re-adapt to Earth-normal conditions."