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Video: UAE astronauts prepare for their next mission

Web report/Dubai
Filed on March 15, 2021
Photo: Dubai Media Office/Twitter

Training at the NBL is one of the best methods to prepare astronauts for spacewalks.

UAE astronauts Hazzaa AlMansoori and Sultan AlNeyadi are preparing for their next mission of space walks and long-haul station missions in the US.

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The Dubai Media Office released a new video on Monday where the duo can be seen training at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) in preparation for their future missions.

Training at the NBL is “one of the best methods to prepare astronauts for spacewalks", says the video. Neutral buoyancy is the equal tendency of an object to sink or float, it explained.

The laboratory is used to develop flight procedures, verify hardware compatibility, train astronauts, refine spacewalks procedures.

Operated by Nasa, it is located near Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

The NBL's main feature is reportedly a large indoor pool of water, in which astronauts perform simulated extravehicular activity (EVA) tasks in preparation for upcoming missions. Trainees wear suits designed to provide neutral buoyancy to simulate the microgravity that astronauts would experience during spaceflight.

In September 2020, the UAE and Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre signed an agreement to explore new partnership opportunities. Hazza AlMansoori and Sultan AlNeyadi also flew to the US in September last year to receive training at Nasa’s spaceflight training centre in Houston for long-haul space missions.

In 2019, AlMansoori became the first Emirati to enter into in space and the first Arab on the International Space Station (ISS). AlNeyadi was backup for AlMansoori in the UAE’s Space mission.

Hazzaa AlMansoori had received a royal welcome when he returned to the UAE after his visit to ISS in 2019.

The UAE is also looking for more astronauts and has invited applications from interested candidates. Five women and nine men are currently vying for the race to the second batch of Mohamed Bin Rashid Space Centre’s (MBRSC) UAE Astronaut Programme for the future crewed space flights.

Out of the total 4,300 applicants for the UAE Astronaut Programme, 1,400 are Emirati women in this batch — about 250 more than in 2018.

waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com





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