UAE’s first long-lived astronaut aims for the Moon and Mars

The first Emirati astronaut to spend several months in space says his excursion will prepare him for future lunar exploration.

Sultan Al Neyadi spoke briefly from the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday (March 7) about how things are going as he adjusts to microgravity after he lifted off last Thursday (March 2) aboard the SpaceX Crew mission. 6. Missions to the Moon were among the research priorities Al Neyadi pointed out.

“People will go to the Moon and Mars,” Al Neyadi said, speaking for 10 minutes with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Saying in Arabic that it is important to know about microgravity in Earth orbit, Al Neyadi added that the big goal of the ISS is to work out countermeasures to mitigate the negative health effects of long stays in space (such as exercise) to help future lunar explorers. (Live translation into English was provided by NASA television, which broadcast the event from the ISS.)

Related: SpaceX Crew-6 Astronaut Mission: Live Updates

Sultan Al Neyadi, the first long-lived astronaut of the United Arab Emirates, speaks at his debut orbital press conference on March 7, 2023 at the International Space Station. (Image credit: NASA Television) (will open in a new tab)

Al Neyadi’s voyage, which should last about half a year, is the second voyage of the Emirati astronaut. His colleague Hazzaa Ali Almansuri spent eight days in space in 2019, taking a short tour on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft; Al Neyadi got his own orbital flight under an agreement with Houston-based Axiom Space, which takes commercial astronauts into orbit.

The UAE has signed a NASA-led Artemis Accords agreement that aims to send boots to the moon as early as 2025 with the Artemis 3 landing mission. ispace device.

Al Neyadi said his half-year trip would fly by quickly given his “busy schedule” of helping his colleagues run hundreds of experiments. He added that part of the scientific data comes from the UAE, without elaborating on details.

According to the materials, the Emirati astronaut will conduct 19 special experiments on topics such as cardiovascular health, back pain, immune system, plant biology, materials science, sleep, radiation and fluids. (will open in a new tab) provided by the Mohammad bin Rashid Space Center, which manages the UAE astronaut program.

As part of outreach, the Space Center University of Medicine and Health also conducted two experiments with students from the UAE on the ground. One experiment examines tooth or oral cavity cells in space rather than on Earth, and another examines “cardio-postural interactions” (meaning how blood flows in different positions of the body, which is strongly influenced by microgravity).

Al Neyadi added during the orbital event that he is still adjusting to flying in space but is enjoying the process. “I’m still managing, I’m still learning, but hopefully I’ll improve my skills in the coming days.”

Elizabeth Howell is co-author of Why Am I Taller? (will open in a new tab)? (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), space medicine book. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace. (will open in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (will open in a new tab) or facebook (will open in a new tab).

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