'I like to sleep while floating': how Hazza is adapting to space

Emirati astronaut describes daily life onboard the International Space Station

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - September 27, 2019: Live call with Hazza Al Mansouri. The Emirati astronaut will be answering some questions from space. Friday the 27th of September 2019. Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Emirati astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri is into his fourth day on the International Space Station.

And he has been providing unique insights into his daily routine while orbiting Earth.

In a radio call between Maj Al Mansouri and members of the public on Saturday, he reflected on food, free time in space and even how he likes to sleep.

Maj Al Mansouri's day starts at 6am GMT (10am UAE time) when they receive a daily schedule from the ground stations.

"After which, we shower and take care of our personal hygiene," he said.

Then turning to food, he said supplies are dispatched every two weeks from Earth. Maj Al Mansouri is also planning to treat his colleagues to samples of traditional Emirati cuisine while onboard.

"Astronaut food is limited to a specific number of calories for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This number is calculated at the ground stations and food is then sent accordingly to the ISS. However, there is spare food," said Maj Al Mansouri.

If an astronaut falls sick, Maj Al Mansouri said they would communicate with a doctor who is available around the clock at the ground station.

When asked about how he sleeps, Maj Al Mansouri responded: "Some astronauts enjoy sleeping with their bodies attached to a wall in ISS, others enjoy sleeping while floating. As for me, I enjoy sleeping while floating".

Maj Al Mansouri has been conducting experiments on fluids in space, the germination of seeds and growth of aquatic organisms, so there is not much free time. But he spends any spare time by looking at Earth. He even waits until the ISS passes above the UAE so he can take pictures and share with the ground station.

Maj Al Mansouri blasted off for space last Wednesday and will return on Thursday.