The first Emirati astronaut Hazza Al Mansoori continued on Tuesday October 8th, to undergo a number of medical tests, including thorough medical evaluation by specialists at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre (GCTC) at Stars City in the Russian capital Moscow.
The studies, included testing the effects of microgravity and space flights on the human body’s vital indicators, are being conducted for the first time on an Arab astronaut, according to the flight surgeon Dr Hanan Al Suwaidi who is monitoring Al Mansoori’s medical condition.
The tests include evaluating sensory adaptation, to be compared with results of a similar test performed while he was at the International Space Station (ISS).
Al Mansoori underwent an osteology test, studying bone status indices, body composition, and endocrine regulation in astronauts, before and after short-term space flight, as well as body composition, fluid shifts, physical activities and astronaut nutrition.
He completed comprehensive diagnoses for the kidney, thyroid, and digestive system using ultrasound, in addition to the study of autonomic regulation of the cardiovascular system, central hemodynamic levels, and the influence of space flight factors on the spatial distribution of the energy of heart contractions.
The medical studies included the cardio-vector test which studies the heart rate variability analysis in comparison between Earth and space; as well as motor control and countermeasures which is the study of the mechanisms of action and efficiency of different countermeasures against disturbances in the astronaut’s motor activity under space flight conditions.
Al Mansoori also underwent the balance test on Tuesday which was conducted hours before his flight to ISS, and the time perception test of which the first phase was conducted in Germany before the flight.
The Director-General of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani said, "Carrying on with the medical studies is an important part of the UAE’s first manned mission to space. Through the work of the UAE Astronaut Programme (AP) team and in partnership with the global agencies, we ensure the success of the scientific mission, which will add new and important data to the global scientific community about the impact of space missions on human beings."
He added, "We work as per the wise leadership’s vision, by ensuring that the space projects and programmes launched by MBRSC reap benefit at regional and global levels. This is what Al Mansoori’s mission to the ISS strove to achieve."
MBRSC confirmed that the medical tests and studies carried out on Al Mansoori during his stay in Moscow are being conducted in collaboration with Roscomos and the European Space Agency (ESA).
The UAE AP Manager Salem Al Marri said, "The experiments Hazza is undergoing now are part of his scientific mission which started before his flight to ISS; he is going through a number of medical checks to study the effects of space flights on humans. The objective is to find answers to questions posed by the scientific community.
"Hazza is in good health condition and high morals. His mission continues after he gets back to the UAE, when he will be sharing his experience with a number of academic and scientific entities," he said.
Al Mansoori has conducted 16 scientific experiments in cooperation with international space agencies, including Roscosmos, ESA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
Six of these experiments were conducted in microgravity, and the results of the two environments are to be compared. The experiments included studying the reaction of vital indicators of the human body on board the ISS, as well as other physical, biological and chemical experiments.
Al Mansoori is the first astronaut from the Arab region to participate in such research.
The UAE AP is funded by the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) fund of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). Launched in 2007, this fund aims to support research and development within the ICT sector in the UAE, helping it to grow into a nationally significant industry with a leading place in the world.