Dubai: The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has shared on Sunday photos of UAE analog astronaut Saleh AlAmeri testing samples that he collected with his colleagues while performing a lunar landing simulation, as part of the Scientific International Research in the Unique Terrestrial Station (SIRIUS-21).
Analog astronauts simulate long-duration space missions, in geographically similar areas to the real missions that are being planned for future Moon and Mars explorations.
AlAmeri became part of SIRIUS-21 crew since November last year, when they entered the NEK ground-based analogue facility in Moscow, Russian for an eight-month long near-isolation project to replicate the challenges of space flights to the Moon and Mars.
AlAmeri joined the primary crew which included Oleg Blinov, Ekaterina Karyakina and Victoria Kirichenko from Russia’s Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IBMP) along with Ashley Kowalski and William Brown from the US space agency, NASA.
MBRSC said “the mission is integral to understanding the effects of isolation and confinement on human psychology, physiology and team dynamics to help prepare for long-duration space exploration. The 240-day mission will replicate various stages and scenarios of a manned mission to the Moon which follows phases such as launch, orbit, landing, and return.”
Missions to accomplish
The analog astronauts were tasked to conduct over 70 experiments during the mission. The experiments include leaving the Earth’s orbit, flight to a hypothetical planet with a subsequent orbital flyby to find a landing site, landing of an expedition module for conducting scientific research, staying in the orbit to perform operations for receiving transport ships, remote control of robotic vehicles for building a base, and simulated return space flight to Earth.
The UAE’s participation in the SIRIUS mission is an integral part in developing Emirati capabilities and contributing to the development of the Mars 2117 Programme, aimed at establishing human colonies in Mars by 2117.