Astronaut Al Mansouri shows us space robots aboard the ISS
Over half way through his mission aboard the International Space Station, fighter pilot turn astronaut (which are two of the coolest jobs ever), Hazza Al Mansouri is continuing to inspire and amaze the UAE population back down on Earth. This time round, he answered some more burning questions, as well as showcasing how some crazy space robots operate.
September 30, five days into his mission which began on September 25 and concludes on October 3, Al Mansouri drifted in front of the camera to host yet another live stream. Previous Q&A sessions have been streamed right here in Dubai, though this time the stream was broadcasted to Kuba Station in Hiroshima, Japan.
Al Mansouri showed one of the joint projects between the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa): the JEM Camera Robot, otherwise known as Int-Ball.
UAE Astronaut Hazzaa Al Mansoori is now conducting the educational experiment aboard ISS/Kibo. Follow the live streaming from the following websitehttps://t.co/Mbrk2RbqnG pic.twitter.com/SVnwHXhsqc— JAXA(Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) (@JAXA_en) September 30, 2019
Designed in Japan, Int-Ball is the personal photographer for astronauts abroad the ISS, a camera may not sound all that high-tech, but remember this is microgravity and the little robot has to be able to take stable imagery of experiments. It achieves this by an internal gyroscope, as well as 12 in-built fans that help it fly around Japan’s lab on the ISS, the Kibo Module.
Not only did Al Mansouri take the time to showcase the abilities of the spherical robot, he also answered questions from people back home.
Int-Ball unsurprisingly is far from the only robotic companion on the ISS, with Al Mansouri explaining that: “There are different robots on board the station from different agencies," he responded. “Each one of them have different purposes.”
The Emirati then went on to jokingly suggest what robot companion he would like to see with him during his mission:
“Of course you have to allow your imagination to run wild. I would like a robot similar to the Int-Ball that has four arms to help me hold more things or do more tasks on board the station.”
He later went on to answer questions outside of robotics such as how water is delivered to the station, how his body has changed being in space, and why he’s trained for hyper-gravity if he’s in a microgravity environment.
According to the UAE astronaut, water is sent to the station in the form of steam and then converted back into water. He also revealed that because space launch in the rocket reaches 5-G normally and 9-G in an emergency, all astronauts must be trained to hope with immense gravitational forces. One final comedic insight from him, his head has grown being in space:
Many changes happened in my body, the size of my head grew bigger because of the rush of fluids upward, and my sense of smell also changed. However, I began to adapt and get used to it after some time.”
You can watch the full livestream showcasing the Int-Ball below: