Weather of Arabia - Emirati Sultan Al Neyadi recorded a new Arab achievement as the first Arab astronaut to walk in space, during the tasks he carried out to walk outside the International Space Station, as part of Mission 69's missions on board the station.
The Emirati astronaut confirmed that he underwent intensive training that lasted for more than 3 years, in preparation for "this mission that requires focus and accuracy."
Al-Neyadi, 41, is the first Arab to spend six months in space after launching on February 26 to the International Space Station via the "Falcon 9" rocket manufactured by the "SpaceX" company.
Al Neyadi is also the second Emirati to participate in a space journey after Hazza Al Mansouri, who spent 8 days on the International Space Station in September 2019.
The last spacewalk outside the International Space Station was for the Russian astronauts, Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petlin, on April 19, according to the US space agency (NASA).
Spacewalk means any human activity outside the spacecraft on various journeys, including the exit from the International Space Station. This process is called "spacewalk", as defined by the US space agency (NASA).
The Russian, Alexei Leonov, is considered the first person in history to walk in space, through the "Voskhod-2" mission on March 18, 1965, after he got out of his vehicle in a 10-minute process, according to "NASA".
It was a grueling task for the late Russian cosmonaut, whose spacesuit was so full of air that he struggled to return to the spacecraft.
Astronaut Ed White was the first American to walk in space on June 3, 1965 during the "Gemini 4" mission, as White's walk outside his vehicle took 23 minutes.
Today, "spacewalking" is usually outside the International Space Station, a process that takes between 5 to 8 hours, compared to the task performed by the astronaut, according to "NASA".
Read also: What is the International Space Station?
When astronauts do spacewalks, they wear spacesuits to keep themselves safe, as they contain the oxygen humans need to breathe and survive. They also have the water they need to drink.
And the astronauts breathe only pure oxygen, which enables them to excrete the nitrogen in their bodies, so that they do not feel pain in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and knees.
And "NASA" says that the failure to remove nitrogen from the astronaut's body contributed to the emergence of gas bubbles in their bodies when they walked in space, as these bubbles could cause pain.
Before leaving the space station, astronauts pass through an airlock that has two doors, to keep it sealed so that no air can escape.
When astronauts prepare for a spacewalk, they go through the first door and close it tightly behind them. They can then open the second door without any air coming out of the spacecraft. After the spacewalk, astronauts return inside through the same airlock.
To stay safe in space, astronauts use tether-like straps that attach them to their spacecraft. Safety tethers prevent astronauts from drifting far into space, even though the lack of gravity prevents the astronaut from falling. Astronauts also use ropes to prevent the tools from moving away, knowing that their tools are attached to their spacesuits.
NASA says that astronauts need prior training before walking outside their vehicles, including physical training and swimming, as staying in outer space is similar to floating on water.
In the video, Sultan Al Neyadi talks about the training he underwent:
Many of you are wondering how we prepare for a spacewalk, and this video shows you our preparations from the airlock on the International Space Station. Our appointment is on 4/28/2023 pic.twitter.com/xQagb6Qekt
- Sultan AlNeyadi (@Astro_Alneyadi) April 26, 2023
Astronauts train in a large swimming pool located near NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The pool is called the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL). Neutral buoyancy means that the person is neither at the top nor the bottom of the pool, making it appear as though the person is in outer space.
The pool contains 6.2 million gallons of water, as astronauts train 7 hours in the pool for every hour they spend walking in space, according to NASA.
Also, astronauts are trained to walk outside through the use of virtual reality technology, in which the trainee wears a helmet with a video screen inside.
Also read: Why do astronauts get out of space and walk in outer space?
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