Editor-in-Chief's Message

Al Neyadi's mission and inspiration industry

Mona Bousmara


03 March 2023

Yesterday, the Emiratis, along with millions around the world, experienced historic moments, during which they witnessed the countdown that preceded the takeoff of the rocket "Falcon 9" carrying the spacecraft "SpaceX Dragon Endeavour", carrying Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, along with three astronauts from the world, to the farthest point reached by humans, where the International Space Station. I do not hide that I, like everyone who followed the launch with interest, felt mixed feelings of anxiety and tension, as well as enthusiasm, which are legitimate human feelings, especially since I imagined the feelings of Sultan's mother watching her son live on a mission of such depth and importance.

Yesterday, history wrote a new glory for the UAE, as it enters the field of space science with confidence and competence, which proves the success of its strategy based on taking care of the Emirati person, and qualifying him in the best ways to have a place in all sectors of the future, even those that were, and for a short time, thought were the monopoly of certain peoples, and we had no space in them, until our leaders came and had another opinion, as the state is continuing to lay the foundations of this vital sector by providing it with qualified national competencies, and launching more Qualitative scientific projects to contribute to space exploration programs and support related industries that serve humanity and benefit its present and future.

Some may ask: Why is the state spending huge sums on qualifying Emirati astronauts, and entering into major space projects now and in the future that cost billions of dirhams? Some may argue that it would be better to direct these sums to other, more meaningful sections?

Well, in fact, entering the world of space, exploring its depths, and discovering its secrets is no longer a luxury, as some think, but a scientific necessity, which is reflected in its effects on human life on Earth. Suffice it to mention here that the schedule dedicated to Al-Neyadi during the six months starting from today, after the docking of the space capsule carrying astronauts with the International Space Station, will carry many specific details in cooperation with the mission team, which includes conducting 20 scientific experiments, a large number of which will be conducted personally, and will address life science experiments, changes that occur to liquids within the space environment, as well as research on the extent and how different materials withstand gravitational conditions, in addition to experiments specialized in From psychology, which examines the effects of living in this environment on the systems of the human body, especially during long periods outside the globe, to biological experiments that relate to plants, how they are cultivated and grow, and the effects of gravity on them.

This is investing in science and education and qualifying young people to have a footprint in projects related to the energy, aviation and space sectors in enhancing the UAE's orientation towards harnessing scientific research for investment purposes, as part of its plans to enhance the contribution of non-oil sectors to GDP.

This is investing in people, and it is the result of the UAE Astronaut Program, which has been able since its inception to achieve impressive achievements, including that we have a national team of astronauts, including Hazza Al Mansouri, Sultan Al Neyadi, Noura Al Matrooshi and Mohammed Al Mulla, these noble sons will be mentioned in international forums, along with their colleagues who work with adults in space science, starting with the US Space Agency (NASA), the European Agency (ESA), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and the Russian Agency (Roscosmos). , and others. They do this on behalf of all Arab youth, embodying their dreams, motivating them, so that they have a stake in this world.

The next six months of Al Neyadi's mission will elapse, and he will return to the bosom of his homeland, God willing, safe and sound, and we will be at the end of the mission on a date with a new dream in which inspiration is achieved for our young men and women, a dream that will be renewed with more space projects in the next stage, and continue to launch new qualitative satellites. Al Neyadi, along with Al Mansouri and the astronaut team, will be guests of our students in schools, universities and scientific forums, to present the outcome of their experiences and expertise, and to spread the culture of space and science in our country from the widest doors. This is the future, and this is the inspiration industry that only inspirational leaders, such as the UAE, can master.



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