Al Mansoori sleeps while ‘floating’ within ISS

By Eudore R. Chand

DUBAI 30 September 2019: How do astronauts sleep in gravity-less space, was one of the questions asked of Emirati astronaut Hazza Al Mansoori in a live session with school students and the public.

During the radio call, Al Mansoori received questions from participants about his daily routine, whether there was enough food at the ISS, how the station was built, how he spent his free time, how he slept, and what astronauts do in case they fall sick, said Wam.

Al Mansoori explained to them that the day starts at 6 GMT, when they receive a daily schedule from the ground stations. “After which, we are given an opportunity to start our personal activities; where we shower and take care of our personal hygiene. Each astronaut aboard the ISS has a different schedule, but we can cooperate on some missions and work together,” said Al Mansoori.

“I’m filming everything on the ISS, and these videos will be uploaded to YouTube as well as other communication channels,” added Al Mansoori.

“Astronaut food is limited to a specific number of calories for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This number is calculated at the ground stations, and food is then sent accordingly to the ISS every two weeks. However, there is spare food in case of failure in arrival,” highlighted Al Mansoori.

Al Mansoori stressed that there are medicines for all diseases aboard the station. In case an astronaut falls sick, we communicate with a doctor who is available around the clock at the ground station to prescribe the appropriate medicine. He also noted that the station is currently disease-free.

Sleep Attached to Wall

When asked about how he sleeps, Al Mansoori responded, “Some astronauts enjoy sleeping with their bodies attached to a wall in ISS, others enjoy sleeping while floating. As for me, I enjoy sleeping while floating”.

As for how he spends his free time, Al Mansoori said that he enjoys looking at the Earth from the ISS during his spare time, and waits until it passes above the UAE, so he can take pictures and share with the ground station.

Al Mansoori also spoke to Dr. Hanan Al Suwaidi, the flight surgeon for the mission, who is following his medical status throughout his time in space.

Al Mansoori continued working on an experiment on Fluidics (fluid dynamics in space) in cooperation with the European Space Agency to observe how liquids move in weightlessness. After which, he began the experiments involving schools in the UAE as part of MBRSC’s Science in Space initiative. The first phase of the initiative witnessed the participation of nearly 16 schools from the UAE. Al Mansoori will also perform three daily experiments to observe the impact of microgravity on seed germination rates, the growth of aquatic organisms, and the oxidisation rates of steel.

Furthermore, Al Mansoori will conduct experiments to study Brain DTI, Osteology, motor control, time perception in microgravity, Fluidics (fluid dynamics in space), and DNAm-Age.

Al Mansoori recorded his diary for 15 minutes to document life aboard the ISS and his activities aboard.

Al Mansoori shared a series of photos on an experiment on bone status indexes, body composition, and endocrine regulation in astronauts. This experiment on Osteology is conducted in cooperation with the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos.

Al Mansoori will conduct 16 scientific experiments in cooperation with international space agencies, including Roscosmos, the European Space Agency, ESA, NASA, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA. Six of these experiments will be conducted in microgravity, and the results of the two environments will later be compared. The experiments include studying the reaction of vital indicators of the human body aboard the ISS, as well as other physical, biological and chemical experiments.

According to MBRSC, Al Mansoori is the first astronaut from the Arab region to participate in such research.