The UAE’s role in this project will involve submitting scientific experiments from local universities and research institutions.
The UAE has teamed up with Russia for a scientific mission that will see six people live in isolation for several months to simulate living in a Martian environment. A similar experiment took place before with the MARS-500 mission from 2007 to 2011. Three crews of six people lived in isolation for months to carry out scientific experiments so that doctors could study the impact of isolation on their physical and mental health.
The project was part of Roscosmos’ (the Russian space agency) Scientific International Research in a Unique terrestrial Station project called SIRIUS-analog. It was carried out at Russia’s IBMP Ground-based Experimental Complex (NEK) in Moscow.
Now, the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has launched the UAE Sirius Mission in partnership with Roscosmos. The aim is to promote the UAE’s Mars 2117 programme, which will see a human settlement on Mars within 100 years of its launch.
The UAE’s role in this project will involve submitting scientific experiments from local universities and research institutions. A six-member crew will be chosen from other countries to live in isolation for eight months.
“We are asking our university and researchers to come and apply for this mission. This should include science, experiments, and technology development, which can be utilised in this eight-month mission duration,” Adnan AlRais, Mars 2117 Programme Manager at the MBRSC, told Khaleej Times. “Those six people will be conducting the experiments inside. The experiments can be very simple or complex ones. They could be divided into two parts. The first one focuses on the human – how to sustain long duration missions, looking into the psychological and physiological aspect, the immune system, etc. The second area can be the technology demonstration – technologies that will help future astronauts go to Mars, to the moon or other planets and celestial bodies, technologies for health and communication.”
Emirati experiments on ISS
AlRais said this mission will help the UAE play a larger role in the international scientific community. He said the country is keen on sending scientific experiments from the UAE to the International Space Station (ISS) the next time an Emirati astronaut goes there.
“Today, we are preparing our scientific community to be able to submit proposals, develop science and experiments and technology developments. For the next Emirati mission to the ISS, we want to see experiments from the UAE to be carried out. When Hazzaa AlMansoori went to the ISS, he conducted 16 experiments with the European Space Agency, NASA and others. For the next mission, we want to see an Emirati astronaut carrying experiments from the UAE. (With the UAE Sirius Mission) we are enabling universities and research institutions for that day,” AlRais said.
“We want the UAE to be an active member within the international scientific community. We have to get involved, be active, engaged, contribute with science, technology and experiments coming from the UAE. We have to have a strong base of UAE scientists.”
The project is open to all universities and researchers across the UAE. The deadline is November 10, however, it is subject to an extension.
The isolation period will begin from November 2020 and will be carried on until July 2021.
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