MBRSC marks 1st anniversary of historic launch of first Emirati to space as it looks ahead with Hope Probe's arrival in Mars on February 2021

Published: Monday, October 19, 2020

DUBAI: The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) marked with pride the first anniversary of the historic launch of the first Emirati to space and the first Arab to the International Space Station (ISS) as it looks ahead with the scheduled arrival on February 2021 in Mars of Hope Probe, the Arab world’s first mission to the Red Planet.

The Emirates Mars Mission, which has successfully cruised through the 100-million-km mark since its successful lift-off from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center on July 20, 2020, is seen to create “a giant leap in the country’s space technologies and open new horizons towards other space missions.”

On September 25, 2019, Emirati astronaut Hazzaa AlMansoori embarked on the 8-day mission onboard the Russian spacecraft Soyuz MS-15 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, a realization of the UAE’s Father of the Nation, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and the vision of the leadership to make the country a leading player in shaping the world’s future.

During the mission, AlMansoori conducted 16 scientific experiments in cooperation with international space agencies, including the European Space Agency (ESA), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos, and the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA).

He studied reactions of vital indicators of the human body, including brain function, osteology, haemodynamics, motor control, time perception in microgravity and fluid dynamics in space, among others.

AlMansoori also conducted experiments involving schools in the UAE as part of MBRSC’s Science in Space initiative. In a joint project between MBRSC and JAXA, he live streamed from the ISS explaining how JAXA’s “Int-Ball”, a camera robot, worked on board the Station. A video conference was also held in cooperation with the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos, where students interacted with AlMansoori asking space related queries.

AlMansoori returned to Earth on October 3 after completing his eight-day mission on the ISS. Following the successful mission, MBRSC, through its Outreach Programme conducted events, workshops, conferences with various entities including academic institutions across the UAE with astronauts AlMansoori and Sultan AlNeyadi.

Interacting with people from all walks of life, the Emirati astronauts talked in detail about the importance of STEM subjects, their historic achievements, experiences, as well as the scientific and mathematical aspects of life as an astronaut.

More than 120,000 people from 35 entities have taken part in these interactive sessions with the Emirati astronauts since Hazzaa AlMansoori’s return. AlMansoori and AlNeyadi are currently undergoing advanced training at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, USA, as part of the strategic partnership between NASA and MBRSC to train Emirati astronauts.

Meanwhile, Hope Probe will provide answers to long-standing questions about the Red Planet by becoming the first to study the Martian climate throughout daily and seasonal cycles. It will observe the weather phenomena in Mars such as the massive famous dust storms that have been known to engulf the Red Planet, as compared to the short and localized dust storms on earth.

Exploring connections between today’s Martian weather and the ancient climate of the Red Planet will give deeper insights into the past and future of Earth and the potential of life on Mars and other distant planets.