UAE to embark on Mars mission

The UAE will this week begin its participation in a key Nasa simulation aimed at replicating the conditions of a mission to Mars. This is the second mission in which the Emirates is participating

The project will involve astronaut doublers – crew members who work in simulated missions on Earth. The main objective of the project is to test the effects of a space mission of this magnitude on the human body and mind.

The UAE’s participation in this crucial research programme was first reported in 2022. The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) will send an Emirati crew to live in a Martian habitat in Houston, Texas, as part of the Human Exploration Research Analogue (Hera) project.

Analogue missions are designed to simulate long-duration space missions, and typically involve placing a small crew in a habitat where they perform space missions. Hera is a three-story habitat that provides conditions of isolation, confinement, and remoteness typical of spaceflight.

To date, the programme has conducted six expeditions, each with four to five missions and ranging in duration from one to 45 days.

The UAE plans to build similar facilities at the planned 500 million dirham ($136 million) Mars Science City, a research centre that will mimic the Red Planet’s environment with pressurised biodomes and robotics labs.

Construction was supposed to start as early as 2022, but no information has been released so far.

Source: The National

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