Yesterday morning, the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Program organized a press conference to present citizens Abdullah Al Hammadi and Saleh Al Ameri, the first two Emirati astronauts to join the space simulation programme, and who are completing their preparations for the first Emirati space simulation mission, as part of the international scientific research program at the unique “Sirius” ground station. 20/21».
The director of Mars 2117 Project – Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center – Adnan Al Rayes, confirmed that the two Emirati astronauts, Abdullah Al Hammadi and Saleh Al Ameri, are currently in the Russian capital, Moscow, and are training with a global team at the Russian Space Agency, in preparation for their joining the “Sirius” mission. Which aims to conduct a complete simulation over a period of eight consecutive months, in an environment characterized by all the conditions and factors that can be encountered in space, with a focus on studying the effects of isolation on the human body, which can be put into scenarios for a manned mission to the surface of the moon.
Al-Rais said: “The experiment to simulate life in space will begin in the ground experimental complex at the Institute of Medical and Biological Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, Russia, in November of this year, and will continue until August 2022, during which the two Emirati candidates will be part of crew No. (1). One of them is basic, consisting of six personnel, and the second is a reserve consisting of the same number,” he explained, explaining that the basic and reserve crews for the mission will be stabilized after the completion of all necessary examinations and qualification exercises, days before the mission begins.
He added: “The astronauts’ mission during the simulation will focus on studying the effects of isolation on humans from a psychological and physiological perspective, and on team dynamics in order to help prepare for long-term space exploration missions, and finally, they will be trained on how to manage daily operations and perform various tasks during the mission period. In addition, they were subjected to 68 different experiments, ranging from different scientific fields, including physical, psychological and immunological tests, among others.
For his part, the Director of the Emirates Space Simulation Project, Mohammed bin Shawq, stated that the mission objectives fall within the Mars 2117 strategy, which aims to establish the first human colony on the surface of the Red Planet, and aims to answer the questions of the scientific community about exploring the Red Planet and other space objects. In addition to developing ideas and cooperating with international space agencies.
Bin Shawq defined space simulation as bringing the outer space environment on the planet to work on it through ground stations similar to space stations and satellites, or through regions that are geographically similar to the climatic and environmental conditions of space, such as deserts. While the director of the scientific team of the Emirates Space Simulation Project, Sheikha Al Falasi, explained that there are four universities from the UAE participating in this mission, through five experiments centered on physiology, psychology, and biology.
She stressed that the two Emirati astronauts participating in this mission have been selected since 2019, according to medical, scientific, technical and psychological criteria, pointing out that the entire mission team will enter a complete isolation phase on the 20th of next October, in preparation for entering the space simulation station next November.
Al Falasi noted that the scientific team participating in the simulation will undergo comprehensive examinations, extending for more than a month after the end of the mission, to check on their health and safety, and to study the effects on them as a result of the mission.
In turn, the pioneer of space simulation, Abdullah Al Hammadi, said: “We are currently undergoing intensive training in Russia, extending about 12 hours a day in the medical, psychological, and robotic fields, and we are also continuing to prepare for scientific experiments.”
While the pilot of the space simulator, Saleh Al-Amiri, confirmed that the team working on the mission passed medical and psychological tests, noting that he is currently continuing training with colleagues from the American and Russian space agencies, and with his colleague Abdullah, he performs intensive training to work on the success of the mission, and to come out with good representation of the state.
Two more missions
In response to a question to “Emirates Today”, the Director of the Emirates Space Simulation Program, Adnan Al-Rayes, confirmed that after the completion of the simulation program, there will be two second and third missions that will be worked on, in cooperation with the Russian and American space agencies, and the field will be opened to more national cadres. To join the astronaut program. He pointed out: “As for the astronauts Saleh Al-Amiri and Abdullah Al-Hammadi, they will benefit from them and the experiences they will gain for the benefit of the Mars 2117 program and the development of space programs in the country, with the possibility of them joining any of the programs to prepare the actual astronauts, after going through the same evaluation and testing stages as usual.”
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