Call from space: Exploring the significance of space research in advancing climate science

Comedian Steve Harvey and UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba interview astronauts Sultan AlNeyadi Warren ‘Woody’ Hoburg.
Comedian Steve Harvey and UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba interview astronauts Sultan AlNeyadi Warren ‘Woody’ Hoburg.

Daria Nastasia

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Last month, “long distance calling” took on a new meaning on George Washington University’s campus.

On Aug. 25, the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Washington, D.C., collaborated with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to host a live video call and an audience Q&A session featuring UAE and U.S. astronauts currently aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

The event, hosted in the Jack Morton Auditorium by UAE Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef Al Otaiba, and attended by senior officials from MBRSC and NASA, underscored the significance of space exploration and research in advancing climate science.

In recent years, the partnership between the UAE and the United States in aeronautics research has grown stronger. UAE astronauts are actively training at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and participating in ISS missions.

During the event, UAE astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi and NASA astronaut Warren ‘Woody’ Hoburg shared their reflections on their experiences aboard the ISS as part of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 Mission, nearing the end of their sixth month in the orbital laboratory.

AlNeyadi’s recent accomplishments, including becoming the longest-serving Arab astronaut in space and conducting the historic first Arab spacewalk in April, have earned international recognition. The UAE is among only nine other countries that have conducted a spacewalk from the ISS.

Prior to the video call, a panel discussion was moderated by American comedian and TV personality Steve Harvey, delving into the collaborative efforts between the UAE and the U.S. in the field of space exploration. The panel featured insights from Salem AlMarri, Director General of MBRSC; Karen Feldstein, Associate Administrator for International and Interagency Relations at NASA; and Hazzaa AlMansoori, the UAE’s inaugural astronaut.

This event marked the conclusion of the MBRSC’s ‘A Call from Space’ series, which engaged diverse audiences across the UAE and the United States throughout AlNeyadi’s mission aboard the ISS.

Following the event, Emirati engineer and the UAE’s first female astronaut, Nora Al Matrooshi, and Adnan Al Rais, the Program Manager of Mars 2117 at MBRSC, discussed their thoughts on climate change and space exploration, which can be viewed below:

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