Hazzaa AlMansoori’s Journey to the ISS

by John Carlo Bogayan

Hazza AlMansoori/Agencies

The first Emirati Astronaut, Hazzaa AlMansoori, was born on December 13, 1983. AlMansoori graduated on 2004 with Bachelor’s degree in Aviation Science from Khalifa bin Zayed Air College. His immense passion for aviation and patriotic character led him to become the first Emirati to set foot on the International Space Station.

The 35-year old AlMansoori writes history when he arrived in ISS on September 25, 2019. Aboard in Soyuz-MS 15, AlMansoori began his 8-day mission launching at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

A week-long experience on the International Space Station

The Soyuz space craft launched off with cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos and astronaut Jessica Mier of NASA from the Baikonour Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The spacecraft arrived in the ISS six hours after it launched at exactly 9:57 a.m (EDT).

The Emirati’s first day in the ISS was putting God before anything else, as the Mohammed bin Rashed Space Center reported. Moreover, it was a mandatory rest day for the crew to prepare for the following space missions.

The following day, MBRSC orchestrated two video calls between AlMansoori, the students, and the public. With the assistance by Japan Aerospace Exploration (JAXA), Hazzaa showed the students how the JEM Camera Robot (Int-Ball) works. Moreover, students were given the opportunity to interact with AlMansoori by guessing how to JEM Camera Robot (Int-Ball). With the help of HE Khaled Omran Al Ameri, UAE Ambassador to Japan, Emirati students from Japan also attended the said conference call.

Other students asked what changed in his body during the trip, AlMansoori said that “Many changes happened in my body, the size of my head grew bigger because of the rush of fluids upward, and my sense of smell also changed. However, I began to adapt and get used to it after some time.”

Later on, Almansoori conducted an experiment to study the mechanisms of action and effectiveness of countermeasures against disturbances in the astronaut’s motor activity under space flight conditions.

Moreover, the numerous experiments done by AlMansoori will help develop studies both in the country and overseas, as he sets to conduct earth observation and imaging, participate in the Station’s ongoing scientific missions, study the effect of microgravity compare with earth’s gravity, interact with ground stations to share information, present a tour of the station in Arabic, conduct experiments selected from MBRSC’s Science in Space competition for UAE schools,  and document the daily astronaut life.

He said in a statement that “Anyone in the UAE is lucky, and Emiratis are lucky, because we have leaders who have given us all the tools for success. To the youth of the UAE and the Arab region, I say, hope exists, and we at the United Arab Emirates have opportunities in all fields, but we must work with dedication and depend on Allah, while having a strong willpower. This is what we learn from our leaders; that there is no impossible, and that you will achieve your goals if you work hard enough. I thank Allah for my country, the United Arab Emirates”.

As he finishes his 8-day space mission in the ISS, he sets to return to earth aboard Soyuz MS-12 on October 3, 2019, Thursday. The Soyuz space craft together with two astronauts’ touched down around 3 pm at eastern part of the remote town Zhezqazghan, in Kazakhstan.

After, AlMansoori and the UAE Astronaut Programme Team from MBRSC will fly to Moscow for the post-mission medical check-ups until October.