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MBRSC Completes Phase 2 of UAE Analog Programme's Second Analog Study

Photo : Dubai Government Media Office

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) announced today the successful completion of phase 2 of the second analog study under the UAE Analog Programme, conducted as part of NASA’s Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) Campaign 7 Mission 2. Emirati crew member Shareef AlRomaithi, alongside Jason Lee, Stephanie Navarro, and Piyumi Wijesekara, concluded their 45-day mission inside the Human Exploration Research Analog habitat at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. They exited the facility at 2:20 AM UAE time on Tuesday.

Beginning on 11 May 2024, the mission involved intensive scientific research and operational tasks aimed at simulating space-like conditions on Earth. The HERA facility, spanning three stories, provided an environment to study crew adaptation to isolation, confinement, and remote operations, mimicking challenges faced during extended space missions. Key mission activities included a virtual reality simulation of Mars surface walks and managing communication delays with Mission Control to simulate near-Mars conditions.

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Following their exit, the crew will spend seven days at Johnson Space Center for post-mission surveys and discussions with HERA managers and scientists. This period will contribute essential data on crew dynamics and health for ongoing studies.

H.E. Salem Humaid AlMarri, Director General of MBRSC, emphasized the milestone's significance, stating, "The successful completion of this analog study marks a significant advancement in our strategic vision for human space exploration. These simulations are critical as we prepare astronauts to tackle challenges in deep space missions. The UAE Analog Programme, in collaboration with NASA and local universities, underscores our commitment to pioneering scientific research and solidifying the UAE's role in space technology. The active involvement of UAE universities in conducting critical studies within these analog missions highlights our dedication to nurturing a strong scientific community and leveraging local expertise."

Adnan AlRais, Assistant Director General of MBRSC, highlighted the integration of unique perspectives into human spaceflight research through international collaboration. He stressed the importance of these insights for future Moon, Mars, and deep space missions to ensure astronaut safety and mission success.

Shareef AlRomaithi, Analog Crewmember, shared his experience, saying, "Participating in this analog study has been a journey of discovery. Facing challenges like communication delays and confined living conditions offered insights into the complexities of long-duration space missions. I am privileged to contribute to this research and represent the UAE in global efforts towards human space exploration."

The second analog study is part of a comprehensive four-phase initiative under the UAE Analog Programme, encompassing 18 human health studies aimed at understanding physiological, behavioral, and psychological responses in space-like environments. Six of these studies involve UAE universities, including the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU), and American University of Sharjah (AUS). These studies will continue in subsequent phases, reinforcing the UAE's pivotal role in advancing human space exploration.

AlRomaithi is among the second cohort of volunteers participating in the HERA analog study this year. Phase 1 of the second analog study concluded on 11 March 2024, with phases 3 and 4 scheduled to commence on 9 August 2024 and 1 November 2024, respectively.

June 26, 2024 11:12 a.m. 463

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