It’s a borderless world from up there, says Emirati astronaut Hazzaa

File photo
File photo

Dubai - Astronauts and experts describe space travel during Expo 2020 Dubai’s Space Week event.



by

A Staff Reporter

Published: Wed 20 Oct 2021, 12:17 AM

Country borders do not exist when viewed from space – astronauts and experts said at a panel organised for Expo’s Space Week that served to highlight the need for collaboration, inclusion and diversity in the space sector for it to be successful.

“You can’t describe the view from space,” said Emirati astronaut Hazzaa Al Mansouri, speaking at Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion.

“You learn something – you notice there are no borders between countries. It’s only continents, mountains, the seas, and that’s it. I’ve learnt that, as humans, we have to walk together to achieve amazing things. Maybe we are divided here [on Earth], but up there we are united.”

Soichi Noguchi, Japanese aeronautical engineer and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut, and Elizabeth Landau, senior communications specialist at NASA, joined Mansouri, who made headlines in 2019 for becoming the first Emirati in space, and the first Arab on the International Space Station (ISS).

“Space knows no borders; it’s a place for everybody,” Landau said.

“It’s an amazing topic for everyone to share in because it affects all of us. We’re in space right now, and we have so much to learn and be inspired by.”

Noguchi, who has completed three missions and spent 344 days in space, added: “What have I learnt? What’s important about space flight? I would say diversity. Obviously, there are a lot of people in the team, and all of us contribute to the success of the mission. So, diversity, and of course inclusion, is the key to the success of human space flight. We have to be diversified, and we have to include a lot of different players for the success of missions.”

The panel, ‘Dignified Storytelling: Stories of Great Ambition and Hope’, was part of Expo 2020’s Space Week running from October 17-23 in association with the UAE Space Agency and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre.


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