Two Emirati astronauts will make their journey to the International Space Station next year, and here’s what they’ll probably experience
10 September 2018| Last updated on 7 January 2019
Going to space is no easy mission, but it surely is interesting. The UAE made headlines when they announced the names of the two UAE astronauts they’ll be sending off to space next year.
Both Emirati astronauts, Saif Al Neyadi and Hazza Al Mansouri, will be sent to Russia first for advanced training before the first space mission starts in 2019.
One of these Emirati men will be blasted to the International Space Station aboard a Russian spacecraft by April of 2019, where he will spend the entire 10 days in space conducting scientific research before coming back to Earth.
Thousands of applicants were submitted
When the UAE Space Agency and UAE government announced the astronaut programme earlier this year, they called for all Emiratis whom are interested in space to apply.
Almost 4,000 Emirati men and women across the country sent in their applications to be the UAE’s first astronauts – including a 67 year old man and three generations of an Emirati family.
But as exciting as the space mission may be, here’s what going to space will do to the human body.
It is generally known that space has zero gravity making anything stranded in space feel weightless and unattached to the ground.
However, as often as we take gravity on Earth for granted, having a zero gravitational force in space can affect your body – it can affect your spatial orientation, head-eye coordination, hand-eye coordination, balance, locomotion and experience severe motion sickness because nothing is tying you down.
Yes this a big factor that affects astronauts in space. Most times, the space missions of astronauts are done solo and rarely with someone else. So it is expected to spend days on end alone in space with very little communication to the outside world.
It is also said that there is no noise in space – making any sounds almost non-existent and this can add to the isolation feeling.
Due to the closed environment of astronaut suits and space vessels – your stress hormones can be elevated, which can affect your immune system.
And if one is placed in that same environment for a long period of time, it can increase your chances of getting allergies, illnesses, disease, nausea, fatigue and more.
And not to mention the dangerous space radiation – astronauts in space get ten times more radiation in space than they would on Earth. Increased radiation exposure can increase the risk of cancer and harm to your central nervous system.
Research and training have mimicked the environment in Space, which will aid the UAE astronauts to get used to the outside environment. Space programs are constantly developing new ways to monitor and reduce the amount of radiation while in space as well as developing new methods to monitor bone and organ health.