February 29, 2024

Dubai-based Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) recently announced the commencement of the second phase of the UAE Analog Programme.

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On Tuesday, January 23, 2023, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) confirmed that the second phase of the UAE Analog Programme will start on January 26, 2024. “This initiative is part of NASA’s Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA), with the UAE contributing by providing Emirati analog crew members and scientific experiments from local universities,” Dubai Media Office wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

The analog missions are set to provide researchers with insights into the physical, psychological, and technological challenges of long-duration space missions, possibly Mars. The study will investigate how crew members will adjust to isolation, confinement, and remote conditions on Earth before undertaking actual long-duration missions.

According to the Khaleej Times, the analog study will see 180 days of research work spread across four phases, divided into 45 days each. All four phases of the second phase of the UAE Analog Programme will include studies provided by local universities. The first phase is scheduled to begin on January 26, 2024.

Meanwhile, the Emirati analog crew members will start their participation in the second phase, which is scheduled for May 10, 2024. The third and fourth phases will commence on August 9, 2024, and November 1, 2024, respectively.

As part of NASA’s Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA), crew members from the United Arab Emirates will be part of the research team at the Johnson Space Center, US, where they will carry out several science and maintenance tasks inside the HERA habitat.

HERA is a unique three-story habitat that replicates space-like conditions on Earth and is designed to serve as an analog for isolation, confinement, and remote conditions. This study will help in the exploration of scenarios while simulating a journey to Mars. The activities that the crew will carry out onboard include testing augmented reality as well as monitoring their mock environment.

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Cover image source: Twitter