What are Analog Missions?
Analog missions are vital in preparing humans for future exploration of Mars and other planets. By simulating space-like conditions right here on Earth, analog missions play a significant role in spaceflight research. They enable space scientists to conduct experiments, develop countermeasures for space-hazards, and test new technologies that are designed for space.
What is the UAE Analog Mission?
The UAE Analog Mission is a part of the Scientific International Research in Unique Terrestrial Station (SIRIUS) SIRIUS 20/21, an 8-month long analog mission conducted in the NEK ground-based analogue facility in Moscow. As part of the Mars 2117 Programme, the UAE Analog Mission studies the effects of isolation and confinement on human psychology, physiology and team dynamics to help prepare for long-duration space exploration.
This mission is a first of its kind opportunity for Emiratis in various scientific fields, to be part of such mission that lays the foundation for future UAE space endeavors. The UAE Analog Mission will play a key role in developing Emirati capabilities and contribute to the development of the Mars 2117 Programme, which aims to establish human colonies in Mars by 2117.
How does it contribute to the Mars 2117 strategy?
Mars 2117 was built on 4 strategic pillars:
- Research and development: Contributing in global efforts to improve and enrich space technology and its advancement
- Education: Motivate the youth to get into space technology and career paths that lead to its development
- Enablement: Pioneering strategy as the first of its kind in the MENA region, to invest highly into space technology and its endeavors
- Collaboration: Cooperation network from all around the world with the same virtue and efforts
The UAE Analog Mission contributes greatly to all the above pillars as engineers and scientists work with government agencies, academia, and space industry companies to gather requirements for testing in harsh space-like environment before they are implemented in space manned missions.
When and where is will the first UAE Analog Mission take place?
The first mission will take place at the NEK Facility in Moscow, Russia, from November 2020 – July 2021. The NEK facility was built in the 1960s for the purpose of understanding the effects of isolation on the human body, psychologically and physically. One of the most well-known missions conducted at NEK was the Mars 500 program, which had several cycles that started at 14 days, 100 days and lastly completed 520 days.
What will the first UAE Analog Mission entail?
The first UAE analog mission will give us an insight into what measures need to be taken into consideration for long duration missions, such as going to Mars. The crewmembers will undergo both physical and psychological tests that allow us to deduce what measures should be taken into account for future space manned missions. The participants will be confined within the laboratories for the duration of these experiments and carry out various experiments and simulated tasks, upon a daily given schedule. We are looking forward to the outcome of these results as it will enable us to better understand the effects of isolation and confinement on the human body and mind.
What has been done so far for the UAE Analog Mission?
The MBRSC first participated with a call for research that was to be conducted during the SIRIUS Analog Mission. The call was announced in October and final selections will be announced at the end of February 2020.
On the 15th of February, the MBRSC announced a call for Emirati Nationals to apply for the chance to be part of CrewONE that will participate in SIRIUS 20/21. The search is currently in progress for Emirati candidates between the ages of 28 and 55, who are passionate about space and can communicate in English. Preferred occupations include physicians, medical investigators, physiologists, biologists, life-support specialists, and IT and electronics professionals. Shortlisted candidates will be reviewed and interviewed, and the finalists will undergo various tests, after which, the final members of CrewONE (lead and backup) will be announced.
How is the UAE Analog Mission funded?
The UAE Analog Mission is a Mars 2117 initiative and is funded by the ICT fund of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.