UAE’s premier space agency Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre’s (MBRSC) first analog mission has begun. It aims to study the effects of isolation during long space explorations on human psychology. Two UAE astronauts – Abdalla Alhammadi and Saleh AlAmeri selected for this mission have started their eight-month-long project.
UAE Analog Mission #1
It is a part of the Scientific International Research in Unique Terrestrial Station (SIRIUS 20/21) mission. The selected members were isolated and are undergoing various simulated stages of a manned mission to Mars.
The mission would provide a comprehensive understanding of how the human body reacts when isolated in an enclosed space for a long time. Focus will also be on studying how it affects human psychology.
For Analog mission #1, MBRSC received 172 applications and the applicants went through multiple stages of evaluations. Abdalla AlHammadi and Saleh AlAmeri came successful in the end.
The crew chief of the Maintenance Department in the UAE Armed Forces, Abdallah Alhammadi has a foundation degree in Aerospace engineering. He has been part of the armed forces for the last 17 years.
The mechanical engineer with ADNOC, Saleh AlAmari is a certified vibration analyst and has over six years of experience in his field. It is noted that he won second place in the Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge 2015 where he designed a solar car with a mileage of 1200 km.
After the selection, the astronauts went through training in Dubai and Moscow to prepare themselves.
The experimental study started in the NEK facility in Moscow on November 4 and UAE’s participation in SIRIUS will play an anchoring role in the nation’s hope for future space explorations, especially in the Mars 2117 Programme.