A Q&A session was held at the MBRSC where the UAE astronaut answered question from young budding astronauts… 

It was a historic moment for the UAE when UAE astronaut Hazzaa Al Mansoori officially became the first Emirati in space left planet earth on Wednesday September 25, on a voyage to the International Space Station (ISS). The astronaut took off for space from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for the ISS, where he will spend eight days, before returning to earth on Thursday October 3, 2019. A question and answer session was held at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) with Hazzaa on his first day at the ISS, which saw budding young students, hoping to be astronauts some day, ask the astronaut their questions.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, also spoke to Hazza Al Mansouri and stated that his journey to space is ‘a national achievement and a message to the youth in the Arab world that nothing is impossible.’

When it was the students turn to speak to the UAE astronaut, Hazza Al Mansoori stated “MBRSC (Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre), this is station. I can hear you loud and clear,” as he floated from an upside down position to standing. The astronaut’s confirmation was met with a huge applause from the eager audience waiting at the MBRSC.

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With the UAE flag and the MBRSC logo displayed behind the smiling astronaut, he stated that he was ready for any questions from the students.

Upon a question from a student regarding food in space, the astronaut stated that eating in space is really hard and that the food “is the same as what you have on earth”. Everything in space floats, he said, due to “a micro gravity environment”, so food must be fixed down.

The astronaut, who spoke mainly in Arabic during the Question and Answer session, when asked if he could see the United Arab Emirates from space, replied that he didn’t know what to tell viewers regarding the view from space, aside from that it was “very beautiful”.

“The blue sea, the white clouds, the mountains, but the best view I saw was the United Arab Emirates…” He even went on to say that he could see the Palm Jumeirah, much to the delight of the budding astronauts at MBRSC.

In the first live call, Al Mansoori spent around 25 minutes answering questions. There will be two more live calls: The next will take place on Monday September 30, 2019 at 11.30am to 2.15pm and the last video call will take place on Tuesday October 1, 2019 from 3pm to 4.30pm.

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The astronaut also took to answering questions that was posted by the public using the hashtag #AskHazzaa on Twitter. One user asked Hazzaa “What can one do to become an astronaut?” To which the UAE astronaut replied “First, you need to dream then transform that dream into goals. Hard work, studying STEM, keeping fit, and your family’s support are key.”

Another user wanted to know what Hazzaa was doing in space, to which the UAE astronaut replied “We are running several experiments to study the effects of space and microgravity on the human body and other objects.”

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Images: Instagram