Emirati confirmed for eight-month simulated mission to Mars

Saleh Al Ameri gets the nod to be part of experiment in Moscow

Emirati Saleh Al Ameri has been selected to spend eight months in almost complete isolation living in a Mars mission simulator.

Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre confirmed that the 31 year old had been chosen to take part in the experiment, which starts on Thursday after being shortlisted for the project with fellow Emirati Abdullah Al Hammadi.

Mr Al Ameri will be part of a six-strong team taking part in the study at Moscow’s NEK centre, with Mr Al Hammadi serving as backup.

The project, called Sirius 20/21, will measure the physiological and psychological toll that extreme environments, such as space, have on human beings.

The crew will carry out more than 60 experiments during the mission.

"I think the thing we will miss the most will be our family and friends, but we will try to stay in touch with them in our free time,” Mr Al Ameri said last month.

The project will help scientists learn more about human physiology and psychology during isolation. The research is vital as nations work towards sending astronauts to the Moon and to Mars.

Many nations have put scientists and astronauts through isolation tests in preparation for space travel.

A European Space Agency flight crew experienced 18 months of isolation in a sealed device in a Moscow suburb between 2007 and 2011.

The crew was exposed to stress tests, including a complete communications blackout.

In 2017, Nasa placed six astronauts in a dome in Hawaii which simulated the conditions of life on Mars.

They were given supplies, including canned tuna and powdered cheese, and wore sensors to measure voice levels and their proximity to others.

This enabled researchers to collate data on whether the astronauts were arguing or avoiding each other.

The UAE’s involvement with the Sirius mission will play an integral role in gathering data for the country’s plans to build a colony on Mars by 2117.

Updated: November 4th 2021, 6:19 AM