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Two astronauts from the United Arab Emirates could be part of a mission to the Moon – News

Photos by M. Sajjad

Published: Friday, November 10, 2023, 3:38 p.m.

Two Emirati astronauts could be part of a mission that would take boots to the Moon, it was revealed on Thursday night at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF).

Participating in a panel discussion, NASA astronaut Sunita Williams and Hazzaa AlMansoori, the first Emirati to go to space, revealed some details about the upcoming Artemis mission to study the Moon.

The United Arab Emirates Space Agency signed an agreement with NASA in 2020 to be part of the Artemis missions to explore outer space. Artemis III is expected to follow in a few years, taking the first woman to set foot on the Moon.

The next Emirati astronauts, Mohammad AlMulla and Nora AlMatrooshi, are currently undergoing rigorous training with NASA.

Moon before Mars

Williams believes that before humans can land on Mars, they must first take a closer look at the Moon.

The Moon is a natural springboard, he added. “We need to be able to return to the Moon and live there sustainably so that we can understand and learn how to take the next steps towards Mars.” The last astronaut mission to the Moon was Apollo 17 in 1972.

When NASA astronaut Sunita first thought about space travel, she thought it was just fiction. “But we actually did it. And we are working and living on the International Space Station. “I have no doubt that we will be working and living on the Moon in the next 10 to 15 years,” she stated.

With constant research to improve space missions, Williams and AlMansoori spoke of successful collaborations between countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Japan and Europe.

“We have also contracted other companies, SpaceX and Blue Origin, to be part of the human landing system. “It’s a little crazy,” Williams said.

Life after space

AlMansoori inspired the entire room with his speech on ‘Zayed’s Ambition’ and the UAE making its mark in space. He showed photographs of his extensive training with fellow Emirati astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi, who recently returned from a six-month mission aboard the ISS.

Life on Earth is difficult for those who spent time in zero gravity, he said. “The first night I came back from space, sitting like that was very painful. “You can feel the pressure everywhere because gravity pulls you down.”

Williams added: “You don’t realize that gravity affects every part of us. Even the little muscles in your neck and the muscles that allow you to balance on one leg, you don’t use them when you’re up there. “So when you come back, all those muscles have to activate again.”

For astronauts, it took rigorous exercise and training to go to space and also to readjust to Earth.

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