The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has announced that astronaut Hazzaa AlMansoori and Sultan AlNeyadi completed their first training year successfully at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
Throughout their six hours underwater in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL), they passed their evaluations which included using the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), the maintenance of the International Space Station and the Incapacitated Crew Rescue (ICR).
NASA and the UAE Space Agency had signed a co-operation agreement a few years ago, which said the two entities would collaborate on human spaceflights in future.
The NBL’s main feature is reportedly a large indoor pool of water, in which astronauts perform simulated extravehicular activity (EVA) tasks in preparation for upcoming missions. Trainees wear suits designed to provide neutral buoyancy to simulate the microgravity that astronauts would experience during spaceflight.
Located at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab, near the space centre, the pool is 12 metres deep and contains 2.4m litres of water.
The laboratory is used to develop flight procedures, verify hardware compatibility, train astronauts, and refine spacewalks procedures.
The training is part of the collaboration between the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and NASA to train UAE astronauts.