News Column

Mohammed bin Zayed attends Canadian astronaut's lecture

July 23, 2014



In his lecture, Hadfield commended the recent decision of UAE to establish its own space agency in order to launch a research probe to Mars to conduct space research will benefit all humanity.



General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces has attended a lecture given by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who was the first Canadian to walk in space, at the Ramdan Majlis of His Highness the Crown Prince.







The audience of Colonel Hadfield's also included Shaikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation; Lt General Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior; Shaikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court; Shaikh Omar bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation; Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development; Shaikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research; senior officials, diplomats and invited guests.







In his lecture, Hadfield commended the recent decision of UAE to establish its own space agency in order to launch a research probe to Mars to conduct space research will benefit all humanity.







Congratulating the leadership of UAE on having this vision, he emphasised the project will have great effect on the generations of nationals.







Hadfield emphasised that he was amazed to know that UAE has entered the race to space, and that this will inspire Emirati youth to engage in scientific and engineering research which is the pillar of space exploration and the discovery of the universe.







The retired Canadian astronaut, engineer and former Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot spoke about his first experience as first Canadian space walker. The engineer and former Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot has flown two space shuttle missions and served as commander of the International Space Station (ISS).







Hadfield was selected by NASA (US National Aeronautics and Space Administration) to become one of four new Canadian astronauts from a field of 5,330 applicants in June 1992. Three of those four (Dafydd Williams, Julie Payette and Hadfield) have flown in space. He was assigned by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas in August, where he addressed technical and safety issues for Shuttle Operations Development, contributed to the development of the glass shuttle cockpit, and supported shuttle launches at the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida. In addition, Hadfield was NASA's Chief CAPCOM, the voice of mission control to astronauts in orbit, for 25 space shuttle missions. From 1996 to 2000, he represented CSA astronauts and coordinated their activities as the Chief Astronaut for the CSA.







Hadfield served as Mission Specialist 1 on STS-74 in November 1995. It was NASA's second space shuttle mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir. During the flight, the crew of Space Shuttle Atlantis attached a five-tonne docking module to Mir and transferred over 1,000 kg of food, water, and scientific supplies to the cosmonauts. Hadfield flew as the first Canadian to operate the Canadarm in orbit, and the only Canadian ever to board Mir.







Hadfield was raised on a corn farm in southern Ontario and became interested in flying at a young age and in being an astronaut at age nine when he saw the Apollo 11 Moon landing on television.







In April 2001, Hadfield served as Mission Specialist 1 on STS-100, International Space Station (ISS) assembly Flight 6A. The crew of Space Shuttle Endeavour delivered and installed Canadarm2, the new Canadian-built robotic arm, as well as the Italian-made resupply module Raffaello. During the 11-day flight, Hadfield performed two spacewalks, which made him the first Canadian to ever leave a spacecraft and float freely in space. During his first spacewalk Hadfield experienced severe eye irritation due to the anti-fog solution used to polish his spacesuit visor, temporarily blinding him and forcing him to vent oxygen into space. In total, Hadfield spent 14 hours, 50 minutes outside, travelling 10 times around the world during his spacewalk.







On 19 December 2012, Hadfield launched in the Soyuz TMA-07M flight for a long duration stay on board the ISS as part of Expedition 35. He arrived at the station two days later, as scheduled, and became the first Canadian to command the ISS when the crew of Expedition 34 departed in March 2013.







On 12 May 2013 he turned over command of the ISS, and returned home aboard the Soyuz spacecraft on 13 May where he, Tom Marshburn and Roman Romanenko landed in Kazakhstan after travelling almost 99.8 million kilometres while completing 2,336 orbits of Earth. The trio spent 146 days in space, 144 of which were aboard the station.







Hadfield was described as "perhaps the most social media savvy astronaut ever to leave Earth" by Forbes after building a considerable audience on social media, including over 1,000,000 Twitter followers as of June 2013, and creating one of the top Reddit AmA threads of all time. He also has a popular Tumblr blog.




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Source: Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates)


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